Multiple reports backed by various Apple patents have suggested that the iPhone of the future will kill the home button without ditching its features. And now that future is closer than ever, as the iPhone 8 is rumored to be the first iPhone to lose the iconic iPhone home button. However, Samsung is also pulling a similar move, and the Galaxy S8 that’s due at least six months before the iPhone 8 is already tipped to “steal” the exciting new iPhone feature.
The Galaxy S8 will be the first widely available smartphone in the world to feature an optical fingerprint sensor, SamMobile says, quoting unnamed sources in China.
Samsung is also removing the home button from the next Galaxy S phone, these sources have said, which is a move that’s hardly surprising. Samsung’s home button also contains a fingerprint sensor that needs to be relocated, and the screen is the obvious choice. According to the report, the Galaxy S8’s fingerprint sensor will be placed under the display. SamMobile says that the sensor will be an optical scanner that should be more accurate and faster than the ultrasonic sensors.
Apple already has patents that describe different means of integrating a fingerprint sensor into a sophisticated display. Apple can’t do without the Touch ID sensor on its phones, which is needed for encrypting (locking) the handset, signing into apps and services, and verifying Apple Pay transactions.
Samsung has similar needs for its fingerprint sensor, which means it also needs to place it underneath the display in Galaxy phones that don’t have a home button.
Manufacturing this particular type of component is difficult, SamMobile notes, but yield problems may be overcome in time for the phone’s launch. Samsung is rumored to be planning a late-February launch for the Galaxy S8 next year, and the phone will supposedly be released less than a month later.