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So, is this the iPhone of our dreams?

Published Aug 7th, 2019 8:21AM EDT
iPhone 11 Release Date
Image: Gabor Balogh

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Samsung is set to finally put an end to all the leaks and rumors when it announces the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ on Wednesday evening. If you’re an Apple fan, however, your attention is already focused on the future — just over one month into the future, to be exact. That’s when Apple will announce its next-generation iPhone 11 lineup, which will consist of three brand new phones. Well, if we’re being perfectly honest, it’s tough to call the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Max, and iPhone 11R “brand new.” Sure they’ll be faster and more powerful than their predecessors, but these next-generation iPhone models look exactly like Apple’s previous-generation iPhone models aside from the redesigned rear camera setup.

Apple will obviously sell tens of millions of iPhone 11 models over the year to come, but the iPhone 11 isn’t really the big iPhone overhaul that fans are waiting for. No, it appears as though the big overhaul is still a couple of years away, but an early report covering Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12 suggests that it might finally end up being the iPhone of our dreams.

Apple’s upcoming new iPhone 11 update will be a big upgrade compared to the current-generation iPhone X on paper, but it won’t be much to look at. In fact, it’s going to be just like Apple’s iPhone 7 series that was launched in 2016. It’s a new number as opposed to an “S” upgrade, but it’ll use the same hardware design as its predecessor instead of introducing an exciting new design, which is what Apple typically does when it releases an iPhone model with a new number. It’s a bit of a bummer, especially this year since so many Android phone makers have come up with exciting new all-screen designs while Apple continues to use the notch.

This past Monday, we told you about a new report from the world’s most accurate Apple insider. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has proven time and time again that he has well-placed sources within Apple’s supply chain, and he’s almost always the first person to tell us about Apple’s future plans. This time around, he said that Apple’s iPhone 12 in 2021 will include an exciting new feature that millions upon millions of Apple fans have been clamoring for: Touch ID.

“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking. “Touch ID isn’t new… it’s old and Apple abandoned it in favor of Face ID!” Yes, that’s true, and it’s also true that Apple said it was done with Touch ID because Face ID is more advanced and more secure. Apple says a lot of things, but the company has never been afraid to go back on its word when it comes to things like this. Remember when iPhones had 4-inch screens and company execs said Apple would never release an iPhone phablet? Exactly.

When people learned that Apple was ditching Touch ID and replacing it with Face ID on the iPhone X, they panicked. Then when they actually started using Face ID, they discovered that it’s superior in almost every scenario. There are still times when Touch ID would be great to have though, and we’ve been saying for a long time that the iPhone of our dreams would have both Face ID and Touch ID for biometric authentication. Well, it looks like the iPhone of our dreams might actually become a reality.

Kuo reports that Apple is working to add Touch ID back to the iPhone in 2021, which would be the iPhone 12 if Apple remains consistent with its iPhone generations over the next few years. We’re not talking about adding back big bezels and a home button, though. This would be in-screen Touch ID, like the under-display fingerprint sensors on so many Android flagships right now… but better.

Under-display fingerprint sensors like the one on Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and the upcoming new Note 10, nifty in theory. In practice, however, they’re annoying. There’s no tactile target so you have to look at the phone’s display in order to hit the touch target. This, thankfully, is not what Apple is planning for the iPhone 12. According to Kuo’s note, Apple is testing next-generation under-display fingerprint sensors that support a much larger touch target. This way you’ll be able to put your finger anywhere on the bottom of the screen and it’ll read your fingerprint.

If this pans out, countless Apple fans are going to be ecstatic. And if Apple still keeps Face ID as well, and finds a way to hide its TrueDepth Camera sensors under a true all-screen display instead of inside a notch, it’s quite possible that the iPhone 12 will indeed be the iPhone of our dreams.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.