By John Kessler
There has been a lot of hype lately around on-screen or sub-screen sensors, most of which are designed to remove bezels or even cutouts from the display. The first was the fingerprint scanner, now followed by the front-facing camera. Apple has long ditched the first option, preferring to keep the wide cutout for Face ID, which replaces fingerprint sensors. That said, while the company hasn’t ditched Touch ID entirely, its next version may not arrive on the iPhone 13 later this year.
When Apple removed Touch ID from the front of its phones, it did not follow the Android tradition of bringing the fingerprint sensor to the back or side. Apple also did not follow the trend of using in-screen fingerprint scanners and instead stuck to Face ID. Apparently, this is not the ultimate goal of the company, but there is still a long way to the appearance of in-screen Touch ID.
Apple has been testing an on-screen version of Touch ID for a long time, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Although it is intended for the upcoming iPhone model, it will most likely not appear this year. Moreover, sources in the supply chain report that there is no timetable for the introduction of this technology yet.
However, the scenarios for embedding Touch ID on the screen are quite curious. One option is for iPhone Pro models to use on-screen Face ID, while base models will switch to on-screen Touch ID. Another option is that non-Pro models will continue to use cutouts, while the premium lineup will use Face ID under the display.
Both scenarios, of course, require Apple to implement on-screen Face ID in addition to on-screen Touch ID. It is clear that the first option is quite difficult to implement, and Apple is unlikely to launch into production a solution that does not suit its quality.