Apple’s upcoming “iPhone 8” is seemingly going to bring a number of great new features to the company’s top-of-the-line smartphone, but if one analyst is right, at least one of them may be a significant step backwards.
According to KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 8 will not have a Touch ID fingerprint reader integrated into the phone’s front.
Kuo, a longtime analyst of Apple, released a “10 predictions” list (which we saw via Street Insider) about the company’s forthcoming device.
Apple is expected to debut three new iPhones: two “s” models that will have a “form factor design similar to [the] current ones,” with traditional LCD panel screens — as well as the long-rumoured, OLED-equipped “iPhone 8” to mark the tenth birthday of the Apple smartphone.
The iPhone 8 is the only model that will seemingly feature a radically new look, with materials such as steel and glass and the presence of a wide, 5.8-inch screen that is supposed to cover almost the entire surface of the phone.
Kuo calls this a “notch display design,” and claims that it will give the new iPhone the “highest screen-to-body ratio of any smartphone currently available on the market.”
The design ditches the physical home button, and Apple is believed to have been trying to embed the Touch ID scanner inside the touchscreen display. But Ming-Chi Kuo apparently expects that the firm will not be able to pull the engineering feat off — meaning Touch ID could disappear from the front of the iPhone for the first time since its introduction in the iPhone 5s in 2013 (though it will not be removed entirely).
This adds credibility to other reports that showed that Apple has been working on a variant that features a fingerprint reader relegated to the back of the phone, below the Apple logo. Samsung has reportedly run into the same issue, as it was unable to fit an integrated scanner in time for release, and introduced the Galaxy S8 with the sensor on the back as a result.
The KGI analyst says that the new iPhone’s home button will be “virtual” and appear on the OLED screen, but does not make clear whether the Touch ID will be moved to the phone’s back or somewhere on the frame.
KGI’s report also mentions that Apple will announce all three iPhones together, but the OLED iPhone 8’s launch date may come some time after the “iPhone 7s” and “iPhone 7s Plus” hit the market.
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