Conflicting reports concerning the fate of Apple’s Touch ID sensor on the upcoming iPhone 8 flagship have been circulating the web like wildfire in recent weeks. While Apple had supposedly been testing an iPhone 8 prototype boasting an all-new, glass-embedded Touch ID module underneath its OLED display, more recent reports have challenged that idea — with some indicating that Apple has merely delayed a glass-embedded Touch ID module due to manufacturing issues, and others saying the technology is too immature to be implemented on such a large scale.
We now have yet another new report coming to us this morning courtesy of Hong Kong-based equity research firm, CLSA, whose analysts are suggesting there’s a “high chance” the Touch ID fingerprint reader will be positioned on the rear of the iPhone 8, which could also be called the iPhone Edition or iPhone X to help commemorate the device’s 10th anniversary.
“Both Samsung and Apple tried to enable in-display fingerprint sensing on full-screen OLED phones in 2017, but their optical tech seems immature and the major iPhone 8 bottleneck. Some thus speculate the fingerprint sensor will be removed and replaced by 3D sensing,” said CLSA analysts, Sebastian Hou and Brian Chen, who in their research note distributed earlier this week added that “Our latest supply chain checks indicate that iPhone 8 will still have the sensor given security, user-friendliness and a need for payments infrastructure, but there is a high chance it will be on the back like Samsung’s Galaxy S8.”
Interestingly, Samsung had also been rumored to be working on an under-the-glass fingerprint reading solution for its recently launched Galaxy S8 and S8+ flagships. However, the South Korean company was ultimately unsuccessful in its quest to be the first to market with the tech, ultimately placing the fingerprint scanner on the rear of the handset — awkwardly enough, positioned next to the rear-mounted 12 MP camera.
While we can’t be certain that CLSA’s claims are accurate, they do provide a new schematic of what appears to be the frequently rumored iPhone Edition, featuring a similar shape and configuration to renders that were leaked exclusively to iDrop News via Benjamin Geskin. The leak, which also floated the ‘iPhone Edition’ name change, revealed that the device will more than likely feature a rear-mounted Touch ID sensor positioned just below the Apple logo around back, presumably making it easier to touch without smudging the camera.
The schematics released by CLSA show a device that measures 71 mm wide by 144 mm tall, rendering it just slightly larger than an iPhone 7 but slightly smaller than an iPhone 7 Plus. Meanwhile, at 7.69 mm, the iPhone Edition might be just a tad more cumbersome than Apple’s iPhone 5s.