On the Future of Touch ID »

Rumors have it that Apple is struggling to put a Touch ID sensor on the front of this year’s Unicorn iPhone 8. Here’s Andy Hargreaves, an equity research analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, via MacRumors, on the subject:

Likely options for Apple include a delay of production or elimination of fingerprint sensing on the OLED iPhone. We believe Apple continues to work on solving its optical fingerprint issues. If it’s able to solve the problems in the next month or so, it would likely place volume orders at that point. This would likely lead to a delay of the OLED iPhone launch, but we would not expect it to meaningfully affect volume for the cycle. If it’s not able to fix the problems in that time frame, Apple may be forced to eliminate fingerprint sensing from the OLED iPhone altogether.

I really don’t see this happening. Touch ID is at the heart of unlocking the iPhone, iTunes payments and Apple Pay. Apple doesn’t want to rearchitect all of that, especially after preaching for years about the safety granted by a fingerprint sensor.

While we’re on the subject, a lot of Apple people on Twitter this weekend seemed to be angsty over the thought of the Touch ID sensor being on the back of the iPhone. Having reviewed and used several Android devices with this setup, I can say with confidence that it would not be the end of the world. There are downsides — mainly, unlocking the phone if it’s on a table — but the rest of the time, the location is totally fine. In fact, I think I prefer moving my finger over the back of an Android phone over wrenching my thumb over to the bottom-center of my iPhone.