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A new and rather dubious video has surfaced on Chinese social media that allegedly shows off a rear-mounted Touch ID sensor on an iPhone 8. We’re inclined to disagree.
The video, posted to Weibo, purports to show an iPhone 8 in the quality control stage of manufacturing. In the 10-second clip, an employee apparently places an alleged iPhone 8 into a calibration machine and touches his finger to the back of the device to test its authentication abilities. It passes, of course. He removes the handset and places another one in.
It’s a fairly innocuous clip, but there are some issues with its authenticity. Sure, the device seems to have a vertically oriented camera module like the iPhone 8 is rumored to have. But that’s about where the similarities end.
First of all, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that the device appears to sport a metal — possibly aluminum — construction. That flies completely in the face of a slew of credible rumors that point toward the iPhone 8 featuring a glass sandwich construction to allow for inductive wireless charging.
That feature is basically a confirmed fact at this point, corroborated by certain discoveries within Apple’s own software. Inductive wireless charging and a metal chassis are basically mutually exclusive features. And at this point in the iPhone 8’s timeline, it’s not at all likely that Apple will release a device without wireless charging installed. That only leaves a glass construction as a possibility.
On a similar note, the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus stablemates expected to be released this year alongside the iPhone 8 are also rumored to sport inductive wireless charging. That means that these two devices will have to also feature a glass back to allow for the feature.
Furthermore, the iPhone 7s lineup is expected to retain the Home button on the front of the device — so it wouldn’t make any sense for Apple to move the fingerprint sensor to the rear.
The iPhone 8 is largely expected to do away with Touch ID in favor of a new, advanced Face ID powered by a 3D sensor suite in the camera module. It’s looking increasingly likely that this is the case, which came as a disappointment to many fans of display-embedded Touch ID, or even fans of a rear-mounted solution.
But, to be clear, it might be a bit early to discount the idea of Touch ID entirely. Some people are justifiably skeptical about the iPhone 8 switching over to Face ID completely, and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor embedded in the Apple logo could be a clever solution as a fallback authentication method. And while unlikely, it’s within the realm of possibility that Apple could prove everyone wrong and debut display-embedded Touch ID.
Rear-mounted Touch ID isn’t specifically what we’re debunking, it’s the device in the video itself. Whether it’s a knock-off clone, or a counterfeit, or something else entirely is up for debate — either way it’s not a legitimate iPhone 8.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]