22 August 2019
Apple's current-generation iPhones rely solely on Face ID for biometric authentication purposes as Touch ID has been ditched in favor of facial recognition. But as per the latest research notes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple could be using Face ID as well as bringing back Touch ID to iPhones in the next two years i.e. 2021.
The only major difference will be that instead of placing the Touch ID on the front bezel like in older models, it will go for in-display fingerprint scanning technology. This will allow Apple to keep offering full-screen and bezel-less display experience which was one of the primary reasons for bidding Touch ID farewell in the first place.
Kuo has a belief that four of the major issues related to in-display fingerprint tech will get resolved within the next 18 months. These include module thickness, sensing area, power consumption, and lamination yield rate. These improvements will result in Apple finally opting for under-display fingerprint, a tech that it was first rumored to debut two years ago with the iPhone X.
But the biggest reason behind Kuo making the prediction is Apple's patent filings related to in-display fingerprint technology. Even though patents do not necessarily translate into actual products/services, these are still an indication that Apple has not ditched fingerprint scanning for forever. Moreover, Face ID and Touch ID are seen as complementary to each other and not as competing which is another reason to use both.
Lastly, Kuo believes as and when Apple will implement in-display fingerprint, it will likely go with Qualcomm's offering because of its larger sensing area ultrasonic tech. The Apple Watch is also expected to gain biometric authentication support but there is no concrete evidence to make any specific speculation yet.