If Face ID ‘fails to impress’, Apple may need to make under-display Touch ID work for 2018 iPhones

Has Apple permanently shifted to a three-iPhone release strategy or will this year’s X/8/8 Plus lineup prove to be a one-time thing? Are all of Cupertino’s 2018 mobile hardware upgrades slated to receive OLED screens with super-slim bezels? Most importantly, what’s the next move for the company’s confusing combination of biometric sensors?

Should we expect an iPhone 8s and 8s Plus with Touch ID fingerprint readers built into physical home buttons, while the iPhone… XI (?) sticks to its predecessor’s groundbreaking Face ID technology only?

So many questions, so much time left to find out the answers for industry pundits and leakers, as well as all the time in the world for Apple to figure out the best way to move forward.

That’s right, the iPhone X makers themselves might be undecided how to proceed, at least according to often-reliable KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, possibly waiting to see the real-world reception of facial recognition starting early November.

In other words, if Face ID doesn’t routinely fail, managing to provide an overall “positive user experience”, it could definitely expand to Apple’s lower-cost new iPhones next year. The alternative scenario would have Touch ID making a comeback on the X’s sequel, but most likely in the long-rumored under-display form.

The problem is the latter remains tricky to implement, due to industry-wide challenges that have so far also prevented Samsung from adopting it, as well as issues specific to iPhones. Namely, the thickness of existing 3D Touch modules potentially undermining the “scan-through performance of the under-display solution.”

Still, if Face ID “fails to impress consumers”, the world’s top smartphone earners will need to somehow make screen-embedded fingerprint authentication work as close to perfection as possible.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).