Currently, the biggest question surrounding this year’s flagship iPhone is whether or not Apple is moving the Touch ID sensor to the rear of the device. We’ve seen evidence on either side of that debate, so we’re not sure exactly what route Apple will take. But newly leaked schematics could suggest that Apple has decided against rear-mounted Touch ID.
The schematics, posted Wednesday on Twitter, allegedly depict the rear of the iPhone 8 (or iPhone Edition), and they back up previous claims of a vertically aligned camera lenses. Not only that, but a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is nowhere to be found. The image was first shared on Twitter by Steve Hemmerstoffer of OnLeaks, a pretty credible leaker known for his information — though Hemmerstoffer admits that he received the schematic from a tipper, so he can’t verify its authenticity. If it is a genuine document, however, it was likely pulled from Apple’s vast supply chain.
— OnLeaks (@OnLeaks) April 26, 2017
While we have previously reported on rear-mounted Touch ID rumors, it’s worth noting that Apple is said to be testing at least 10 different iPhone prototypes this year — so it’s certainly possible that multiple variations of its flagship, with differing Touch ID locations, are currently in existence. Among the most recent evidence is an image of an alleged Foxconn dummy that lacked a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Similarly, reports of the iPhone 8’s mass production being delayed to October or November could back up rumors of display-embedded Touch ID, since doing so has been Apple’s biggest design bottleneck.
Most interestingly, however, is that the Touch ID on the backplate of the schematic has been replaced with a large pad — presumably for wireless charging. Wireless charging has long been a rumored feature for this year’s flagship iPhone, and the placement of such a pad is indicative of an inductive charging solution. If the schematic turns out to be genuine, it could suggest that Apple has decided to embrace the Wireless Power Consortium’s Qi standard — or, at the very least, its own proprietary version of it. Apple has done so before on the Apple Watch, so it’s not really a stretch to think that it could do the same on the iPhone Edition.