Rumor mill won’t give up on 2020 iPhone with display-embedded Touch ID

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2020-iPhone-Touch-ID
But don't get too excited just yet.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

A Monday report out of Asia reignites claims that at least one iPhone 12 model will feature a display-embedded Touch ID sensor.

Sources believe a number of Apple partners, including OLED display-maker BOE and Qualcomm, are working on the technology.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is forcing millions around the world to wear face masks for protection, has highlighted a glaring flaw in Face ID, which is unable to recognize you when half your face is covered up.

Some iPhone users have called for Apple to “do something about it” — and that could happen in 2020. One report claims Apple is still pushing to launch an iPhone with both facial recognition and fingerprint scanning.

iPhone 12 could get Touch ID under its screen

China’s Economic Daily News reports that touch panel supplier GIS, OLED display-maker BOE, and chip and sensor manufacturer Qualcomm are teaming up on the development of an ultrasonic Touch ID sensor for a future iPhone.

Sources say there is a “high probability” the technology could debut in at least one high-end iPhone 12 model in 2020.

The same claims have previously been made by a number of reliable sources, including TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg. Others warn, however, that the move could be pushed back.

Reliable Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman said last week that he doesn’t expect to iPhone to get a fingerprint-scanning display this year. He suggested the technology could instead debut in 2021.

Maybe in 2021?

Previous implementations of display-embedded fingerprint scanners, such as those from Samsung, have proven less reliable than traditional sensors. They also require the user to touch a certain area of the phone’s display.

Apple won’t bring the sensors to iPhone until early teething troubles are eliminated. It’s also thought Cupertino wants to use more advanced technology that allows the user to place their finger anywhere on the screen.

The big selling point for this year’s iPhone 12 lineup will likely be 5G. It is believed Apple is planning four different models, all with faster data connectivity. However, the fastest technology may be limited to some markets.