China Version of an iPhone Model Will Have In-Display Fingerprint Scanner

Befitting of the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple will release a special version of the device. Starting from iPhone X, the company has ditched the Touch ID and Home button. Face ID is the latest biometric technology for the latest iPhone models, so the device could recognize user’s identity automatically. Face ID is also available for the more affordable iPhone XR. When Apple decided to turn its back on Touch ID for good, many people were sceptical. Today, in-display implementations are still at an early stage, but it will become more mature and reliable.

Recently, rumors stated that a new iPhone model exclusive to China will have in-display fingerprint scanner. The Global Times, a Chinese news outlet reported that it will be an affordable iPhone model and because it will have in-display scanner, the display is likely an OLED. It’s not very characteristic for Apple to quickly implement a new technology, but it could be a new shift in how Apple will do business in the future. This also means that the device will have no Face ID to avoid redundancy and save on costs. Face ID uses structured laser light emitter and this alone costs a few hundred Yuan.  It is probably a good idea, because the device is a low-cost model.

Before Apple launched the iPhone X, there were already rumors in 2017 that the company were experimenting with various implementations of in-display fingerprint sensor. However, Apple decided to use Face ID, because it was more reliable. Touch ID is cheaper, because FaceID requires TrueDepth camera for 3D facial recognition. It is easy to suspect that the new device will be a modified iPhone XR, but it currently uses LCD display, not OLED display needed for in-display Touch ID. The device may also have smaller notch, because there’s no need for 3D facial scanning sensors. Because it won’t have physical Home button, we could also expect that the device will have very thin or even no bezel.