Apple will do away with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner in all iPhone models in 2018 and instead fully embrace Face ID and the competitive advantages it offers.
Reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed the news to investors in a note. Kuo has already stated it will take years for the Android competition to catch up with Apple’s 3D face detecting TrueDepth camera.
Kuo believes Apple will use the combination of Face ID and edge-to-edge displays as a major selling point in the coming years. He also believes Apple’s upcoming iPhone release will be bezel-less, doing away with the home button (and Touch ID) entirely. That will line-up nicely with the complete adoption of Face ID as the primary biometric option for iPhones.
If Apple does eliminate Touch ID next year, it will be the first time since 2012 an iPhone doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner. Touch ID was announced alongside the iPhone 5s in 2013.
Apple tends to play it safe with certain things like design, but when it finds a feature that’s a hit, it runs with it at full speed. It did so with the Retina display and Touch ID. Kuo has stated Face ID has been “well received” by fans, reenforcing Apple’s thought process in doing away with a fingerprint scanner.
One issue that Apple may run into is the production of the TrueDepth camera. Currently, many reports state Apple is still struggling with the mass production of the TrueDepth camera system, contributing to the expected low iPhone X availability. The issue would only get worse if it includes the feature in every iPhone next year, unless it found a way to streamline the process.