Multiple reports are convinced
No, not the headphone jack – the other one. Ever-reliable blog Patently Apple writes that supply chain insiders have revealed Apple is seriously considering bringing back the fingerprint reader. And with a modern twist.
The modern twist is the use of in-display fingerprint reader technology and Patently Apple notes that Apple is currently evaluating biometric sensor suppliers O-film, General Interface Solution and TPK Holding. Interestingly, this is said to be for next year’s iPads first but used as a trial ahead of introducing it in new iPhones.
Why iPads first? Apple is looking for a solution to reduce the bezel size and eliminate the home button on the iPad and iPad Mini ranges but avoid the cost of adding Face ID. An in-display fingerprint reader fulfils this job perfectly. It also gives Apple a lower risk product line to vet the technology before adding it into the premium iPhone and iPad Pro ranges.
And there’s a further twist.
Patently Apple says O-film, GIS and TPK Holding are also the suppliers for Samsung’s cutting-edge ‘ultrasonic’ in-display reader which will be used in the Galaxy S10. Ultrasonic readers are said to be as quick and accurate as any physical reader and even more secure. While existing in-display readers are slow, Ultrasonic tech would make for a worthy successor to Touch ID in Apple’s eyes.
Furthermore, this is clearly a win-win scenario. Apple gets to match the headline upgrade of its biggest rival while offering customers a genuinely useful feature. After all, no matter how good Face ID, there are undoubtedly times when it’s more convenient to unlock a device with your fingerprint. For example, when you don’t want to pick it up first.
Apple also patented its own in-display reader back in August, so the thinking has been there for some time.
Beyond this biometrics actually work best in unison. So you could look at your phone while touching the reader for dual authentication. With Apple previously revealing plans for iPhones to replace crucial documentation like passports, this would be a big step towards achieving the necessary device security to do it.
Would Apple face jibes from rivals about reversing its position? Of course, but almost every Apple rival has U-turned about the headphone jack, screen notches and more. The reality is this would be a great move which everyone can get behind…
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