It seems like the intelligence machine on the iPhone 8 is once again on reverse gear as there’s word out of Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company that Touch ID implementation may once again be in doubt.
The investment note, obtained by Barron‘s, reaffirms a delayed commercialization of the phone well behind accompanying iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus models, perhaps going as late as October or November before launch. Investors hoping to pad up before the holiday season will be disappointed.
Arcuri’s wetwork also finds that multiple biometric authentication methods are on the table even as the front design that contains no physical home button has been finalized. None of them involve placing a capacitive sensor in the rear of the device, though.
There are three options at the forefront:
1) thinning the cover glass for the fingerprint area (cover glass cutout), 2) creating a pin hole through the glass for optical or ultrasonic fingerprint sensing, and 3) replacing the AuthenTec Touch ID with a “film” fingerprint sensor that is integrated with the display
The latter option would feature capacitive or infrared arrays as patented by Apple-acquired LuxVue. It would definitely be preferred to the first and second options, though, as the clumsy would hope to avoid more opportunities for a cracked display. Any further vulnerability to the display’s standard integrity will make an OtterBox case almost necessary.
Apple’s summer quarter ending late September, the fourth in its fiscal calendar, looks a little less bright as the delays pile on. Hopes of an iPhone 8 inflating unit shipments to 48 million have been dashed — 44 million is the new target. That said, if Infinite Loop does have the groundswell of iPhone stragglers that market munchers are praying (preying?) on, we could see the company get to 90 million units in the holiday quarter — beating the current record by more than 11 million.