iPhone Still Won’t Feature In-Display Touch ID Next Year, Says Ming-Chi Kuo

Last year, Apple moved toward phasing out one of the iPhone’s key selling features from previous iterations when it replaced the device’s Touch ID fingerprint reading system with the new Face ID facial recognition system on the iPhone X. Despite how Face ID proved to be popular among iPhone users, many have clamored for the return of Touch ID, but according to a leading market analyst, the feature might not be returning on next year’s models.

In a research note cited by 9to5Mac, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasted that fingerprint-on-display technology will continue to grow significantly in 2019 as more Android phone makers implement the feature on their devices. Despite the expectation that Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will come with an in-display fingerprint reader, Kuo believes that Apple won’t be following suit and outfitting next year’s iPhones with in-display Touch ID.

As noted by TechCrunch in a review of last year’s iPhone X, Apple’s plan was always to remove Touch ID from the 2017 flagship, even if it turned out to be “very, very hard,” according to Apple executive Dan Riccio. He also told the publication that there was no truth to the rumor Apple was still trying to include the feature in the iPhone X, only for the company to fail to get it to work through the phone’s display.

As Apple’s 2019 iPhones are not expected to follow the lead of Samsung and other Android device makers, with this year’s iPhone XS also unlikely to come with Touch ID in any form, Kuo added that Apple’s use of facial recognition technology with Face ID is “serving the iPhone line well.” 9to5Mac also quoted the analyst as saying that Android phones will be used as a “testbed” where fingerprint-on-display technology can be refined and improved as new devices get released.

Regarding the variables slowing down the adoption of in-display fingerprint readers, Kuo noted that such features are not supported on phones that have lower-end LCD screens like they are on those that have higher-end OLED displays. He stressed, however, that current trends are changing and adoption of such advanced fingerprint reading technology is likely to increase over time. Kuo also forecasted that whole-screen sensing could be innovated toward the end of the year, marking the “last stage” in fingerprint-on-display adoption.

Although Kuo did not offer any predictions for Apple’s iPhones and their features beyond next year’s models, his research note backed up previous reports that suggested Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will come with an in-display fingerprint reader when it gets unveiled early next year.