iPhone displays could offer built-in Touch ID by 2020

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Touch ID
But don't worry — Face ID isn't going anywhere.
Photo: Apple

Apple really is working to integrate Touch ID into future iPhone displays, according to a new report.

The company’s in-screen fingerprint-scanning technology could debut as early as 2020. It is expected work alongside Face ID on flagship handsets, giving users a choice between unlock options.

It was beginning to look like Touch ID was well and truly done for. It has been eliminated from all of Apple’s high-end smartphones and tablets in favor of Face ID, which is significantly more secure.

The technology is still available in more affordable Apple devices, but it seemed like only a matter of time before they would be upgraded to Face ID and Touch ID would be phased out entirely.

A number of reliable sources are now claiming the future won’t play out like that. Touch ID is expected to make a big comeback — and it’ll be better than ever.

Touch ID could return in 2020

A new report from Bloomberg, citing people familiar with Apple’s plans, claims the company is working to bring Touch ID back in future iPhone revisions.

The technology will be baked into the iPhone’s display, negating the need for a Home button and allowing Apple to retain the super-slim bezels we’ve become accustomed to.

Apple is hoping to deliver in-display Touch ID next year if testing goes well, the sources say — but its release may slip to 2021. It will work in tandem with Face ID, but it won’t replace it.

A familiar story

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Touch ID will be integrated into future iPhone displays. Reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo made the same prediction in early August.

Kuo also said the technology would work alongside Face ID in future handsets, and could use a version of Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint-scanning system introduced in late 2017.

Kuo believes Touch ID’s comeback will happen in 2021. The likes of Samsung, OnePlus, and others have already proven that in-displays fingerprint scanners are ready for primetime.

Touch ID’s return a big surprise

Despite these predictions from dependable sources, a return for Touch ID would still be considered an unusual move for Apple.

Apple has billed Face ID as a significantly more secure alternative to fingerprint scanning since its introduction in 2017. So giving users the option to use an inferior system seems a little surprising.

Of course, a future iteration of Touch ID, baked into an iPhone’s display, could well be more advanced than today’s Touch ID tech. And it would be nice to have a second biometric unlock option.

Face ID is excellent, but it doesn’t always work without fault, and many people still prefer fingerprint scanners.