If you’ve long been a fan of Touch ID, we’ve got some bad news for you. According to noted Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo, every new iPhone Apple releases next year will incorporate Face ID and, in the process, relegate Touch ID to nothing more than a memory. Word of Apple doubling down on Face ID is interesting for a few reasons. For one, Apple is still struggling to manufacture one of the key components of the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera system, the cornerstone of Face ID. Second, it remains to be seen how users take to Face ID. Though Apple has assured us that Face ID is just as convenient, quick, and reliable as Touch ID, it’s far too early to tell if consumers will view Face ID as a suitable replacement or a clunky nuisance.
Kuo’s note, obtained by MacRumors, reads in part:
We predict all new 2H18F iPhone models will likely abandon fingerprint recognition. We believe this change will allow all new models to realize a competitive advantage via differentiation, on the back of an integrated user experience of full-screen design and TrueDepth Camera/ Facial recognition/ Face ID/ AR applications.
Regarding differentiation, Kuo previously stated that it may take Android venders upwards of two and a half years before they can ship a facial recognition scheme as advanced and sophisticated as what Apple will deliver on the iPhone X. That said, the real competitive advantage won’t rest on Face ID, but rather on the myriad of ways in which Apple might be able to leverage its TrueDepth camera system for other uses. So far we have Animojis to look forward to, but perhaps more engaging use-case scenarios are right around the corner.
All in all, it appears that the iPhone X’s notch is a design decision we’ll all have to live with over the next few years, whether you like it or not. Incidentally, it’s also been reported that Apple’s next-gen iPad will also abandon the venerable home button and Touch ID sensor in favor of Face ID.
Lastly, if anyone is apprehensive about saying goodbye to Touch ID, we can only hope that Craig Federighi’s prediction will come to pass. Just a few weeks ago, Apple’s software guru said the following with respect to the upcoming technology:
Honestly, we’re just all counting the days until customers can get their hands on these. I think just like with Touch ID, initially people thought, ‘Apple’s done something that’s not going to work and I’m not a believer, and I’m not going to use the feature.
Now, everyone is worried because they can’t imagine their life without Touch ID, and we’re going to see exactly the same thing with Face ID.
With the iPhone X set to drop in just a few weeks, we’ll know for sure soon enough.