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Apple may bring Touch ID back for this year’s new iPhone

Published Jan 18th, 2021 7:17PM EST
iPhone 13 Rumors
Image: Apple

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  • Apple’s iPhone 13 might see the return of Touch ID.
  • Rather than a physical button, rumor has it that Apple’s next-gen iPhone might include an in-screen fingerprint sensor.
  • If Apple does bring Touch ID back, it will exist alongside Face ID.

Apple’s next-gen iPhone 13 could include an in-screen fingerprint sensor, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Nothing is set in stone at this point, but the report relays that the feature would coexist with Face ID as opposed to being a replacement for it. Apple has reportedly been developing in-screen fingerprint technology for years, so there’s certainly more substance to this rumor than most.

The return of Touch ID to the iPhone would certainly be a cause to celebrate for some. While the speed and reliability of Face ID have undeniably improved over the past few years, Touch ID does offer up some benefits that Face ID can’t match. Not only can the unlocking process with Touch ID begin immediately upon touching the device, but the mask-filled world we live in on account of the coronavirus has also made using Face ID a cumbersome experience.

The report notes:

The feature would be convenient in an environment where users wear masks, which are often incompatible with facial recognition. An in-screen fingerprint reader, which has also been featured on Android phones for several years, could also be quicker than Face ID for some users. Apple won’t remove its facial recognition scanner though as it’s still useful for augmented reality and camera features.

Apple typically considers a variety of new features for next-gen iPhone models, which is to say there’s no guarantee that an in-screen fingerprint reader will actually ship with the iPhone 13. Recall, there were a number of credible reports pointing to Apple incorporating a 120Hz ProMotion display on last year’s iPhone 12 Pro models, a feature that ultimately didn’t make it to production.

Another iPhone 13 rumor from Bloomberg relays that Apple is considering removing the charging port in favor of wireless charging exclusively. While the iPhone may certainly be headed in this direction, it’s hard to imagine Apple discarding the charging port as early as this year.

Other reports have suggested that the iPhone 13 will include a more capable ultra-wide camera lens. And while we might see a slew of software-based camera improvements on Apple’s 2021 iPhone lineup, more significant hardware improvements are reportedly slated for Apple’s 2022 iPhone lineup.

Lastly, we’ve seen credible reports indicating that Apple’s 2021 iPhone lineup will be released in September later this year. Given the October and November releases of Apple’s iPhone 12 models, there was some speculation that Apple might permanently shift its iPhone release schedule similar to what it did following the delayed October release of the 2011 iPhone 4S. Before the iPhone 4S, if you recall, every new iPhone model was released in either June or July.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.