Rumor: iPhone 8 to eliminate Touch ID in favor of Facial Recognition


Apple may be planning to phase out Touch ID in favour of a new facial recognition technology, according to a new research note by JPMorgan analyst Rob Hall, reported by MacRumors. Hall indicates that the rumoured 5.8-inch iPhone with edge-to-edge OLED display would phase out Touch ID due to Apple’s removal of the home button to accommodate the new display, replacing it instead with a front-facing 3D laser scanner. His research note also suggests that the volume of the module being produced within Apple’s supply chain suggests that it won’t be exclusive to the higher-end 5.8-inch iPhone either, claiming that the lower-end “iPhone 7s” and “iPhone 7s Plus” models could also include the technology. The additional costs of the 3D laser scanner would be yet another component that could cause the new high-end iPhone to have a starting price tag of over $1,000.
Hall suggests that the switch to a facial recognition system will help to reduce frustration with using Touch ID under wet conditions, and suggests that it would be more secure than Touch ID, thereby helping to increase Apple Pay adoption among banks and merchants that may be concerned about the insecurity of Touch ID. Going forward, Hall also suggests that the 3D scanning API could be used for other features such as augmented reality, as well as being opened up to developers who could use it to do “everything from determining your shoe size for online orders to helping make sure you are properly fitted on your bike.” Hall also claims that Apple could announce the new iPhone hardware as early as WWDC 2017 in June, although if so that would be the first time the company had done so since 2010.

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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.