Among the most awaited new features of the upcoming iPhone 8 (aside from true wireless charging) is the removal of the physical home button that will allow a bezel-less (or borderless) display on an edge-to-edge screen. But if the latest rumors floating around turn out to be true, either the feature will have to wait, or it’s Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans who will have to wait while the company delays production in an attempt to resolve this issue with the home button.
The question that begs to be answered is this: what exactly is the stumbling block that’s hampering Apple from pushing forward with its plan to ditch the home button? It’s the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that’s used to unlock the phone, sign into apps and services, and use Apple Pay. More specifically, Apple has to preserve the functionality of the Touch ID which is presently incorporated in the physical home button.
Apple supposedly wants to place the fingerprint sensor under the OLED panel display. Unfortunately, the technology that will allow such optical fingerprint sensing doesn’t seem to be in place yet.
Digitimes previously reported that Cupertino turned down both Synaptics’ Natural ID touch fingerprint sensor and Qualcomm’s Sense ID fingerprint technology in favor of a fingerprint ID solution that the company is developing in-house. So far, however, the status in terms of any progress on the development of the sensor remains unknown.
If Apple is still in the process of figuring out how to integrate Touch ID with its planned buttonless display, analysts believe that the company will be left with three options. The first solution will be to do away with Touch ID and rely on facial recognition (via a 3D laser scanner) instead.
Second option — Apple can transfer the Touch ID button to the back of the phone. Which may not be user-friendly because you have to pick up the phone to be able to access the feature.
Third option — Apple can simply delay production until the issue is solved, that is, until they are able to perfect their rumored ‘Authentec algorithm combined with Privaris glass identification technology’ for their fingerprint ID solution.
It’s not as if Apple fans have not heard about this possible delayed launch before. And maybe that will be easier to accept than a new iPhone without a Touch ID, especially in the face of a number of reports saying that the iPhone 8 will be pegged at a hefty price tag of more than $1,000.00.
If Apple needs a little more time to make sure their upcoming flagship phone is as spectacular as fans are expecting it to be, then maybe a little bit of delay won’t be as bad as it sounds. On the other hand, when considering the expectation of a launch in early September, this offers Apple a difficult decision.