Apple is expected to launch two types of new iPhone this year, including an iPhone 7s that will represent the obvious successor of the iPhone 7 line, and iPhone 8, supposed to bring several never-before-seen features. The screen will see the most important changes, as the iPhone 8 is tipped to have an OLED display that will occupy the most part of the front side. That means Apple had to find a way to remove the home button without losing any features that are associated with it, especially the Touch ID fingerprint sensor scanner needed to unlock the phone, log into apps or services, and enable Apple Pay.
A new report indicates that Apple has found a way to integrate Touch ID into the OLED screen of the iPhone, revealing the fingerprint sensor will be based on novel technology.
Supply chain sources familiar with the matter told Digitimes that Apple ignored both Synaptics’ Natural ID touch fingerprint sensor and Qualcomm’s Sense ID tech for the OLED iPhone. Instead, it used its own Authentech algorithm and Privaris’ glass identification technology to create a new fingerprint ID solution.
The new Touch ID solution will be built into the OLED screen and will rely on ultrasound to read the user’s fingerprint instead of capacitive touch technology. Apple has at least one patent that explains how such technology would work on mobile devices such as the iPhone.
Because Apple is using this new type of iPhone component, production of the iPhone 8 will only start in September, Digitimes points out.
The redesigned fingerprint ID solution is specifically named as the reason why iPhone 8 production won’t start until September. Other recent reports indicated that low 10nm chip yields might also lead to shortages for the new iPhone.
TSMC, the same company who makes Apple’s chips for the 2017 iPhones, is also building the new Touch ID component for the iPhone.
The iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, meanwhile, will hit production in July.