Apple Reportedly Plans to Launch iPhone With Under-Display Fingerprint Sensor in China

Apple intends to launch a new iPhone for the budget-conscious Chinese market that features an under-display fingerprint sensor instead of expensive Face ID technology, Chinese media sources have claimed.

According to Sino-based English-language paper The Global Times, Apple will release the new "tailored ‌iPhone‌" in the country to arrest declining sales, which have been worsened by cost pressures from the 18-month long trade war between the U.S and China.

galaxy s8 security touch

The new phone will reportedly remove Face ID, the facial recognition system for the iPhone, and instead employ an under-display fingerprint function, news site caijing.com.cn reported, citing sources on the upstream industry supply chain. An industry insider revealed that this is likely to "save on costs."

A structured light laser emitter, the major component of Face ID, would cost several hundred yuan, said a Beijing-based representative who preferred to be anonymous. He told the Global Times on Monday that "only Apple can afford it but that would also affect its sales."

Apple has effaced fingerprint recognition entirely in its flagship smartphone lineup, which includes the ‌iPhone‌ XS, ‌iPhone‌ XS Max, and LCD-based ‌iPhone‌ XR. All have a notch at the top of the screen housing the TrueDepth sensing camera in lieu of a Home button, which contained Touch ID's focused capacitive drive ring in earlier iPhones.

Apple was widely rumored to be attempting to integrate ‌Touch ID‌ under the display on 2017's ‌iPhone‌ X, but the company ditched any form of fingerprint scanning after hitting "early line of sight" with Face ID. Chinese smartphone brands like Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo have since gone in the opposite direction and extended the adoption of in-display fingerprint sensing technology from their premium smartphones to mid-range models.

The increased use of fingerprint scanners in smartphone screens is also reportedly being driven by a reduction in sensor prices and the price gap between OLED and LCD panels. This strategy adopted by domestic brands appears to have paid off, with Apple losing many Chinese users who prefer smartphones priced at around 5,000 yuan ($731), which has resulted in an increase in purchases of local brands, according to Monday's report.

Despite the market shift to fingerprint sensing tech, many observers believe Apple is done with ‌Touch ID‌ in smartphones, although the company has explored various in-display fingerprint scanner solutions in the past, including fingerprint sensing MicroLED displays. ‌Touch ID‌ has also found a new lease of life on laptop keyboards, specifically in Apple's MacBook Pro with Touch Bar range and the latest MacBook Air.

Notably, following meetings with suppliers in Apple's Asian supply chain in May, Barclays analysts claimed that 2020 model iPhones will have acoustic fingerprint technology that could allow for full-screen ‌Touch ID‌.

Regardless, news of Apple's declining sales in China contrasts with the company's most recent earnings results. CEO Tim Cook said in April that performance in China had improved over the previous quarter, thanks in part to a sales tax cut in the country that allowed Apple to decrease the price of its products, and a "much better tone" in the China-U.S. trade relationship.

Tag: China

Top Rated Comments

Rojo Avatar
33 months ago
I want this instead of FaceID
Score: 150 Votes (Like | Disagree)
one more Avatar
33 months ago
Apple intends to launch a new iPhone for the budget-conscious Chinese market that features an under-display fingerprint sensor instead of expensive Face ID technology, Chinese media sources have claimed.

How about “the budget-conscious” European market too? I am in! :)
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Quu Avatar
33 months ago
Can we get that in the USA and Europe too please?
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maerz001 Avatar
33 months ago
I’m sure it would sell worldwide much better than China only
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
33 months ago
Yeah I call BS on this one.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Moonjumper Avatar
33 months ago
I like Touch ID. I'd be happy to see this.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
iPad Air Feature 2 green

New Apple Products Filed in Regulatory Database, Likely Including New iPhone SE and iPad Air

Tuesday January 18, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today filed unreleased iPhone and iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by French blog Consomac. The filings likely represent the rumored third-generation iPhone SE, fifth-generation iPad Air, and potentially more. The unreleased iPhone models have the identifiers A2595, A2783, and A2784, while the unreleased iPad models have the identifiers A2588, A2589, ...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
iphone se 2020 top

iPhone SE With Larger 5.7-Inch Display May Launch in 2023, 'iPhone SE+ 5G' Also Rumored

Monday January 17, 2022 6:46 am PST by
Apple is planning to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE with a larger 5.7-inch display as early as 2023, according to display industry consultant Ross Young, who has proven to be a reliable source of information for future Apple products. The fourth-generation iPhone SE has until now been rumored to launch in 2024, but Young now says a 2023 release is looking more likely....
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...