Touch ID Overview Updated July 11, 2017

Touch ID

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130 'Touch ID' stories

September 2013 - June 2017


Touch ID is Apple’s fingerprint sensor built-in to the Home button that first debuted with the iPhone 5s. A year later Touch ID became an integral part of Apple Pay that launched just after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and also came to the iPad Air 2. The first Mac to gain Touch ID was the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar in late 2016.

Conflicting reports have been plentiful this year as to how Apple will handle Touch ID with the iPhone 8 or whether face recognition may replace it altogether.

 

 

Touch ID Stories June 1

AAPL: 153.18

0.42

The law lags badly behind technology in a great many areas. One area where there is still huge uncertainty is whether the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination protects someone who refuses to disclose the passcode to their phone.

We’ve seen conflicting rulings in the past, and a Miami report shows that rulings may even vary between courts in the same state …

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Touch ID Stories May 26

AAPL: 153.61

-0.26

The latest in a long line of will-they/won’t-they reports on Touch ID embedded into the display of the iPhone 8 says yes – but there have been so many conflicting reports, it remains an unknown for now.

Conflicting reports have suggested that Touch ID could be moved to the back of the iPhone or even dropped altogether in favor of face-recognition.

Some have suggested that Apple could move Touch ID to the power button, but it seems unlikely this would offer sufficient surface area for the type of sophisticated sensor used in existing iPhones …

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Touch ID Stories May 16

AAPL: 155.47

-0.23

Apple has today been granted patents for two headline features expected from the iPhone 8: an edge-to-edge display, and a Touch ID button embedded into the screen.

The edge-to-edge display patent has the rather mundane heading ‘Reducing the border area of a device.’ It describes how a mostly-flat display can have a curved border area allowing it to wrap around the sides of the device …

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Touch ID Stories April 28

AAPL: 143.65

-0.14

I’ve been giving more thought to the issue of how Apple might embed Touch ID into the display of the iPhone 8. So far, the various reports and rumors have focused on two possibilities: one hi-tech, one low-tech.

The hi-tech approach would be to embed a fingerprint reader beneath the display. We know from the sheer volume of Apple patents that Apple has plenty of ideas about how this might be achieved – but there’s a massive difference between a concept and a finished product. Indeed, there’s a huge gap between a fully-working prototype and something that works in volume production. If the rumors are to be believed, Apple has struggled to achieve this.

The low-tech approach would be to take the same route as many Android brands and simply move the Touch ID sensor to the rear of the casing. I’ve discussed previously why I think this would be a terrible idea, and the most recent reports do suggest Apple is not taking this approach.

But it strikes me that there’s a third possibility here. What might be termed a ‘mid-tech’ approach …

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Touch ID Stories April 18

AAPL: 141.20

-0.63

We’ve seen a whole bunch of rumors of late suggesting that while Apple really wants to embed a fingerprint reader into the display of the iPhone 8, it is struggling to do so.

The notion that Apple wants to use an embedded fingerprint reader seems abundantly clear. As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve had multiple reports from credible sources like Bloomberg, the WSJ and the New York TimesThe claimed schematics and sketches have also all illustrated a design without any space for a Touch ID sensor at the bottom of the screen, and the volume of Apple patents makes it clear the company has been working hard on figuring out how to do it.

But, unusually for Apple, this is bleeding-edge technology. The company usually lets other manufacturers figure out the kinks in new tech before it launches later with a version that does the job properly. This is the reason it’s being suggested that the company may need a Plan B or even a Plan C …

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Touch ID Stories April 17

AAPL: 141.83

0.78

iPhone 8 render without front Touch ID

Recent conflicting reports suggest Apple has not yet finalized the design of the flagship iPhone 8 this year in terms of how Touch ID will be implemented. If Apple introduces a new edge-to-edge display as expected, Touch ID will have to change from its bottom front location as the chin is dramatically reduced.

The best case scenario based on rumors is that Apple manages to implement the fingerprint scanner into the new OLED display, although low yield rates may rule that out this year. The less desired scenario is Apple moves Touch ID to the backside like Android phones today.

Now an analyst has floated what would likely be an even less popular scenario: no Touch ID.

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