Apple Dismisses Rumors of Ever Putting Touch ID on Back, Side, or Under Display of iPhone X

For over a year leading up to the iPhone X, rumors ran rampant about Touch ID being placed under the display, or on the back or side of the device, but Apple's hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio says the reports were never true.

iPhone 6 Touch ID
In an interview with TechCrunch's editor-in-chief Matthew Panzarino, Riccio said Apple "spent no time" looking at implementing fingerprint authentication in these ways because it was already focused on perfecting Face ID.

"I heard some rumor [that] we couldn't get Touch ID to work through the glass so we had to remove that," Riccio says, answering a question about whether there were late design changes. "When we hit early line of sight on getting Face ID to be [as] good as it was, we knew that if we could be successful we could enable the product that we wanted to go off and do and if that's true it could be something that we could burn the bridges and be all in with. This is assuming it was a better solution. And that's what we did. So we spent no time looking at fingerprints on the back or through the glass or on the side because if we did those things, which would be a last-minute change, they would be a distraction relative to enabling the more important thing that we were trying to achieve, which was Face ID done in a high-quality way."

Rumors about Apple embedding Touch ID into the iPhone X's display surfaced as early as May 2016, so it remains possible that the company at least explored the idea, but never proceeded with it after moving forward with Face ID.

Several reports corroborated the rumors as recently as this past summer, which usually means they are true.

Many reports even made it sound like Apple was under pressure. In July, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Andy Hargreaves said Apple was still struggling to embed Touch ID under the display, to the point the iPhone X could have been delayed.

Sebastian Hou and Brian Chen, analysts at Hong Kong-based equity research firm CLSA, in May said there was a "high chance" that Touch ID would be placed on the back of the iPhone X like Samsung's Galaxy S8.

iphone 8 touch id idropnews

iPhone mockup with Touch ID on rear via iDrop News

It's worth noting that one Apple analyst, the oft-reliable Ming-Chi Kuo, predicted the iPhone X wouldn't have Touch ID back in July.

Kuo's latest prediction is that Apple will remove Touch ID on all iPhones launched in 2018 in favor of Face ID. He thinks the TrueDepth camera and 3D facial recognition system won't be significantly upgraded next year.

Face ID has proved to be reliable in early iPhone X reviews and first impressions, and it's also considered easy to set up and use.

Top Rated Comments

moabal Avatar
44 months ago
Well this sucks. I was hoping Touch ID would still have a future some how.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RuffyYoshi Avatar
44 months ago
"We figured that an intrusive notch would be better than to elegantly hide the touch id mechanism under the screen."
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
v1597psh Avatar
44 months ago
In 2018 I would bet that TouchID will be gone from a handful of products. So FaceID on a iPad and a Mac.
Face ID on Mac? They can't even put a 720p camera into MacBook...
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TurboPGT! Avatar
44 months ago
I laugh because, I knew this as obvious reality long before Apple confirmed it. But people that don't know any better, people that don't know how real products are made, bought into the tech media garbage spewed all summer long.

It really is disgraceful the way people get their "information" from unsubstantiated rumor.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fatalogic Avatar
44 months ago
I just want both. There are situations were Touch ID is suboptimal and other situations were face ID is.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orev Avatar
44 months ago
Reposting my theory, which is the only one that makes sense. Reports and predictions are based on rumors, which are based on information from the supply chain. There were a huge amount of assumptions made, and when the data didn't match assumptions, people started making up theories.
[LIST=1]
* Apple makes plans to switch to FaceID over a year ago
* Apple's prototype designs are extremely confidential so nobody has any idea this is going on

* Apple makes prototypes and starts lining up component suppliers

* Component suppliers start ramping up production, and leaks start to happen
* Leaks show drastically reduced component orders for old TouchID sensors because they need some for the iPhone 8 but not iPhone X

* This causes confusion in the rumor mill because everyone already expects under the screen TouchID sensors, and since they see no component orders for them (only the regular ones), it is assumed there are problems in the prototype stage for under-the-screen sensors

* More leaks come out and eventually someone picks up on FaceID

* Everyone jumps to the conclusion that because of the lack of under the screen TouchID orders and sudden revelation of FaceID, that Apple had to make a last minute change and go to FaceID

Anyone who thinks hardware changes like this can be made within even 6 months of a new product launch is clueless.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...