Apple hasn’t managed to solve ‘iPhone 8’ Touch ID placement puzzle

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Apple iPhone 8 is being pegged as ‘the’ iPhone everyone should get and while the hype surrounding this unannounced iPhone 7 successor has been soaring every week, reports have been emerging about Apple’s inability to solve the Touch ID problem.

Analysts and supply chain sources have been claiming that Apple has elected to remove Touch ID from the front of the “iPhone 8” and instead will either be placing the fingerprint reader somewhere else on the device or removing it altogether remains open to debate.

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo has said that iPhone 8’s virtual Home button won’t support fingerprint recognition. Instead, the iPhone will include 3-D sensing for facial recognition and “improved selfie quality.” Just days after this claim, Benjamin Geskin took to Twitter and published a series of images purportedly showing Touch ID on the back of the display.

There’s another leak on Weibo that claims that the Touch ID fingerprint sensor will be present on the iPhone 8, but it will not be embedded in the display or on the back of the phone, but Apple will be placing the sensor in that elongated home button on the side of the iPhone 8.

According to a research note from KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts Andy Hargreaves, John Vinh and Josh Beck, Apple is struggling to get its Touch ID feature to work with the iPhone 8’s edgeless OLED display.

“Apple continues to struggle with the workaround for the fingerprint sensor,” Hargreaves said in the note, which was obtained by Barron’s. “This increases the potential that the new OLED iPhone could be delayed, or ship without a fingerprint sensor, either of which could increase risk to unit sales and mix for the cycle.”

If Apple can’t get the problem fixed in a reasonable time frame, analysts tip the company will be forced to abandon the Touch ID entirely and rely solely on facial recognition for login and authentication — a dangerous option as that method poses numerous security risks.

As it is believed to take 12 weeks from placement of fingerprint scanner to full volume production of the device, analysts suggest Apple will need to have the problems solved before the end of August to have the iPhone 8 ready by late October or early November.

So what is the bottom line? We don’t see any reason for Apple to remove Touch ID as it would mean a huge blow to Apple Pay.

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