Apple Has 'Just Weeks' to Solve iPhone 8 Touch ID Dilemma

For all the rumors we've seen recently surrounding Apple's upcoming "iPhone 8", one of the most inconsistent remains the fate of its Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology in the redesigned flagship device, which is expected to launch in September.

In late May, supply chain sources suggested that Apple had overcome technical hurdles and that the OLED iPhone will have Touch ID integrated into the display. However, according to a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier this month, Apple plans to replace Touch ID in the iPhone 8 with a facial recognition security system – a prediction echoed by both JP Morgan analyst Rod Hall and Bloomberg.

iphone 8 render 7 and 7s
In the latest throw of the dice, a report from investment publication Barron's concludes that Apple is still struggling to put a fingerprint sensor under the glass of its next iPhone, and that the company has "just a couple of weeks" to solve the matter before its earnings estimates are at risk.

According to KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Andy Hargreaves, who contributed to the report, Apple has until August to either place orders for chips to run a fingerprint sensor, or miss that window and not have a fingerprint ID at all, or delay more significantly the release of the iPhone.

We believe it would typically take 12 weeks from placement of fingerprint IC orders to full volume production of iPhones. Consequently, if Apple is able to solve its fingerprint problems and place orders for fingerprint ICs before August, it would likely be able to reach volume production in late October or early November. We believe this remains Apple's preferred path, and expect it would be acceptable to both consumers and investors. It is entirely unclear if Apple will be able to fix the problem in this time frame.

Hargreaves considers the possibility that Apple will replace Touch ID with facial recognition "increasingly likely" as time passes, but "far from ideal". Echoing the thoughts of many observers, Hargreaves goes on to highlight the challenges a supposed replacement facial recognition security system would need to overcome to meet the standard of existing Touch ID, particularly with regard to authenticating Apple Pay.

We believe Apple's facial recognition system solution should work from many angles and in low-light environments. However, it would not work without clear line of sight to the user's face. Even if this encompassed just 5% of login scenarios, it would mean that several times a day the new iPhone would perform worse at an elemental feature than older iPhones, which would risk pushback from consumers. Further, we do not believe facial recognition would be initially qualified as an acceptable verification method for Apple Pay. While Apple could achieve this over time, the likelihood for an initial lack of Apple Pay could adversely affect demand.

Hargreaves concludes that if Apple thinks facial recognition isn't sufficient by itself for login and authentication, then a delay in the retail availability of the OLED iPhone is "very unlikely, but possible". But while the analyst believes a delay up until mid-November would not have an impact on investor expectations for the cycle, anything beyond that timeframe could have negative repercussions.

8f4241dbly1fhftve3lxcj20qo0x6wh5

Alleged leaked 'iPhone 8' glass back panel via Weibo

Meanwhile, alleged leaks continue to trickle out into the social media sphere, the most recent coming today via Chinese microblogging service Weibo claiming to show an "iPhone 8" production glass panel back that has no cutout for a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Early rumors suggested Apple would relocate the sensor to the rear of the handset, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Apple is thought to have incorporated 3D sensing technology in the forward-facing camera of its "iPhone 8", which may perform a function in the purported facial scanning feature. Alongside the redesigned OLED iPhone, Apple is also expected to announce incremental updates to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Top Rated Comments

newyorksole Avatar
59 months ago
I find this very very very hard to believe. A company of Apple's caliber probably had this figured out earlier in the year. I really don't believe they're "scrambling" to get Touch ID implemented.
Score: 71 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rosalindavenue Avatar
59 months ago
These stories are so dumb. (Not being critical of MacRumors-- keep printing rumors!!-- but of the underlying story). The hardware has been locked for months by now. This is a long-decided issue, whatever the decision was.
Score: 65 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Markiie Avatar
59 months ago
Hmm, no they don't. Either put it on the front of the phone through the screen or push the phone release until October or November. No one cares to have Touch ID in the back for a September release.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yellowbean12 Avatar
59 months ago
Whatever Apple's solution is, they've already had it "solved" for many months now.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sunny1990 Avatar
59 months ago
I really Hope Apple have succeeded in placing touch id under the display. i am not ready to get disappointed of no Touch ID.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
penajmz Avatar
59 months ago
I’m sure Apple already figured this out. Probably pushing these “rumors” out for hype.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new iPhones (5G iPhone SE, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end MacBook Pro,...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...
safari icon blue banner

macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 Release Candidates Fix Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Thursday January 20, 2022 1:30 pm PST by
The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities. As shared last week by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS, there is an issue with the WebKit implementation of the IndexedDB JavaScript API. Any website that uses...
apple college discounts

Apple Walks Back UNiDAYS Verification Requirement for U.S. Education Store

Friday January 21, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Earlier this week, Apple began requiring that customers taking advantage of educational discounts in the United States verify their status as a teacher, student, or school staff member through UNiDAYS. The requirement was a major change as Apple had never asked customers to go through a verification process in the United States before, and now, just three days after verification was added,...