A new report from Economic Daily News, via Digitimes, indicates that the iPhone 8 will use a new optical fingerprint sensor technology to enable users to place their fingers directly on the OLED display and have the phone scan the print, as an elegant replacement for the existing Touch ID home button.
The screen ratio will change from 16:9 on iPhone 7 to 18.5:9 (corroborating many other sources) and ‘invisible’ Infrared sensors will unlock enhanced camera and augmented reality features. Apparently, TSMC discussed these upcoming flagship iPhone features at a Taipei symposium.
The iPhone 8 is expected to be a radical update in both functionality and appearance, with a stainless steel and glass chassis. The display will increase to 5.8-inches and yet the phone will not be much bigger than the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 as the front face will be nearly bezel-less and dominated by screen.
The fate of the fingerprint sensor has been disputed by rumors over the last few months. There have been rumors about a fingerprint sensor in the power button, a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone and the idea of an integrated-display scanner.
This latest report from Economic Daily News suggests that the most elegant solution is what Apple is going with. With a virtual home button drawn on the display, users would simply place their fingers on the screen and the optical scanner would authenticate the fingerprint.
The details about the infrared sensor for AR and camera mirror previous reports from KGI. In the previous report, Ming-Chi Kuo indicated that the infrared depth-sensing would be used for facial recognition offering iPhone 8 users another way to unlock the device.
The sourcing of this latest report is promising. Digitimes is transcribing the Chinese language Economic Daily News paper who says that its information comes from TSMC sources who shared details about Apple’s upcoming iPhone at a company conference. TSMC is manufacturing the Apple A11 chip and it is not implausible for them to have intimate access to the next-gen iPhone hardware. Whilst the provenance is by no means a definitive source of reliability, it is not that farfetched either.
Apple is set to debut the iPhone 8 in the fall, although the premium features will come at seemingly higher prices than current iPhone models.
The company is also rumored to be launching two ‘7s’ phones in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes which will largely resemble the current-generation iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. These two iterative new models will be priced at the usual levels and focus on internal component improvements.