Ming-Chi Kuo today released a report claiming that Apple will bring back Touch ID fingerprint recognition to its iPhones starting in 2021. The analyst said that he believes Apple will release an iPhone with both Face ID and under-display Touch ID fingerprint biometrics.
Kuo says that over the next 18 months, a lot of technical issues will be resolved which will enable Apple to deliver the high-tier experience it strives for in its devices.
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TF Securities Ming-Chi Kuo sees the facial recognition and fingerprint recognition technologies as complementary and believes Apple will want to unify the experiences. Apple has been filing patents on under-display fingerprint recognition technologies which suggests Apple is still pursuing a Touch ID future (without the button).
However, current technological challenges to launching fingerprint-under-display components include power consumption, size of the sensing area, thickness of the sensing module, and the production yield rate of the lamination process.
Kuo says he believes these issues will be addressed in the next year or so, opening the door for Apple to design into the 2021 iPhone.
Kuo says it is likely that Apple will use a variant of Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint-under-display system, which enables the user to place their finger on a large area of the screen to be scanned.
The analyst also said that if the Apple Watch gained biometrics in the future, an under-display fingerprint scanner is the more likely route than a Face ID facial recognition camera. However, he does not make any claims about whether that is actually in the works.
Last night, TF Securities also published another report from Kuo detailing the impending tariff impact on Apple’s product lineup. Apple will likely absorb any trade war tariffs in the short term as it looks to diversify production beyond China as soon as next year.