Apple is working on an in-display fingerprint reader for the iPhone, according to a report in Bloomberg. But don’t expect the technology to be part of the new iPhones that Apple is almost certainly going to announce at a press gathering at its Silicon Valley headquarters on Sept. 10.
Bloomberg suggested the embedded fingerprint technology could show up in iPhones that come out in 2020, and possibly later than that.
Apple has not yet responded to a USA TODAY request for comment on the report, which Bloomberg based on unnamed people said to be familiar with the company’s plans.
Rival smartphone makers including Samsung, Oppo, and Xiaomi all have versions of an embedded fingerprint ID system for the screen as notable features inside their own premium devices. For its part though, Apple has never felt compelled to rush out technology before it deems it ready.
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Older iPhone models rely on the company’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor technology, which lets a person press a finger against the Home button to get past the lock screen and certain websites, as well as to authenticate Apple Pay purchases. But starting with 2017’s iPhone X model, Apple ditched the Home button and Touch ID in favor of its Face ID facial recognition authentication system.
Even if Apple went with an embedded fingerprint biometrics approach for 2020 or later iPhones, it would appear likely that Face ID would also be included on such models.
Apple has said that Face ID is more secure than Touch ID, so it remains to be seen how it will play up the security on an embedded fingerprint system.
Meanwhile, Touch ID may not be completely dead. The Bloomberg report also said that Apple is working on its first low-cost iPhone since the iPhone SE, a device likely to appear in the first half of next year. It could have a 4.7-inch screen and a Touch ID-capable Home button. For comparison purposes, the iPhone SE was priced at $399 when it came out in 2016.
Stay tuned to USA TODAY for all the details on the iPhones Apple does end up unveiling next week.
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