Analyst: forget Touch ID if Apple fails to execute iPhone 8 design

A Pacific Crest Securities analyst thinks that Apple isn’t interested in a backup plan for Touch ID if it can’t implement on-screen fingerprint sensing on the iPhone 8.

Andy Hargreaves wrote a research note, obtained by MacRumors, saying that as Infinite Loop reportedly continues struggling to viably produce of that slice of the iPhone 8 — rumored to be the first iPhone to replace the LCD screen with a more vibrant OLED display.

Likely options for Apple include a delay of production or elimination of fingerprint sensing on the OLED iPhone. We believe Apple continues to work on solving its optical fingerprint issues. If it’s able to solve the problems in the next month or so, it would likely place volume orders at that point. This would likely lead to a delay of the OLED iPhone launch, but we would not expect it to meaningfully affect volume for the cycle. If it’s not able to fix the problems in that time frame, Apple may be forced to eliminate fingerprint sensing from the OLED iPhone altogether.

It may not be that Apple relies on Touch ID in its marketing for sales, but if it is to utilize 3D facial scanning or iris scanning, those authentication methods better not cause trouble. An instant security bypass ingrained into many user experiences for years will not be easy to replace if it’s bug-prone — it’s a transition, not an introduction.

That said, Hargreaves is confident on the alternatives.

Suppliers suggest that the solution is both fast and highly reliable, even in low-light scenarios or from odd angles. If this proves accurate, reliance solely on 3D sensing for biometric login and verification could be a viable and innovative replacement for the highly popular fingerprint sensor.

The iPhone 8 is currently expected to price above the speculative iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus and ship out later than the pair.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.