According to a new rumor stemming from Economic Daily News (via MacRumors), Apple could be in talks with Qualcomm and other suppliers to once again introduce an iPhone fingerprint sensor. However, this time the sensor could be under the phone’s display.
The rumors suggest that this could happen as soon as next year. It’s also suggested that the iPhone fingerprint sensor would be of the ultrasonic variety, which, so far, is only present in Samsung’s Galaxy S10 line.
If true, it would be the first time ever that an iPhone has had an in-display fingerprint sensor. Starting with the iPhone X, Apple went all-in on its proprietary Face ID, which relies solely on facial recognition as a biometric security agent.
It is highly unlikely Apple would abandon Face ID. It’s possible that it could re-introduce an iPhone fingerprint sensor as a secondary security option on high-end iPhones. Or, conversely, it could be using in-display fingerprint sensors on the rumored “budget” iPhones supposedly in the works (tentatively referred to as the iPhone SE 2, although that won’t likely be its actual name).
Recently, Google launched the Google Pixel 4 without a fingerprint sensor (in-display or otherwise). This is a rarity in the Android world where some form of a fingerprint sensor has been a design staple for years. It would be interesting if Apple reintroduced an iPhone fingerprint sensor so soon after Google joined its ranks in abandoning it.
As of right now, rumors point to Apple launching two sets of iPhones in 2020: a budget-minded model of some kind in the first half of the year and its usual crop of high-end offerings in September. Therefore, we’ll likely know in just a few months if the in-display iPhone fingerprint sensor will make a debut.