It would be an understatement to say that there’s been a lot of back-and-forth on the topic of the iPhone 8’s Touch ID. And if you’re in the camp that hates the idea of a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, a new report published Friday might be good news.
The Economic Daily News report, via DigiTimes, claims that this year’s flagship iPhone will do away with the iconic Home button — that’s something we already know. But, interestingly, the EDN also reported that the iPhone 8 (or iPhone Edition) will feature an optical fingerprint sensor that would allow users to authenticate Touch ID by placing their finger directly on the OLED screen. An optical fingerprint sensor makes sense, as current optical technology can work through glass. But it’s an interesting deviation from the many Apple patents that describe capacitive sensors. On the other, a patent granted to Cupertino earlier this month explicitly mentioned, alongside capacitive solutions, optical sensors.
In addition to the optical sensor tidbit, the Economic Daily News also reported that the 2017 Apple flagship will feature “invisible infrared image sensors” that would enhance high-pixel camera functionality, as well as allow for augmented reality applications — echoing a prediction in February made by renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Similarly, the EDN report states that the screen ratio will be adjusted to 18:5:9 instead of 16:9 of current models. This corroborates another Kuo report about the iPhone 8 featuring a 5.8-inch display with 5.15-inches of usable space, with the rest taken up by a “function area.”
While DigiTimes is usually pretty good at covering the Apple supply chain, this report is especially promising as the Economic Daily News cited sources from Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, who has been tapped to produce Apple’s A11 chipset. Reportedly, TSMC teased several design changes and functions of the upcoming iPhone on May 25 at the 2017 NA Technology Symposium in Taipei.
The iPhone 8 is largely expected to debut this fall, and will feature revolutionary design changes such as a glass and steel chassis and an edge-to-edge display with minimal or no bezels. The latter feature would allow the flagship to pack nearly 5.8 inches of display space into a form factor similar to the iPhone 7. These revolutionary features are expected to come at a price however, and the flagship iPhone will reportedly launch alongside two iPhone 7s models.