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04 July 2017

Fingerprint sensor is new phone’s biggest mystery

What is going to happen to the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 8?

THERE have been incremental changes to the iPhone in recent years, but not the massive overhaul smartphone fans have been calling for.

With the 10th anniversary iPhone 8 expected to bring big changes, the world’s most accurate Apple analyst — once responsible for correctly predicting Apple’s entire product lineup — has delivered his forecast for the upcoming device.

In a research note from KGI Securities, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo confirmed many of the rumours circulating around the September announcement of the iPhone 8, but also raised questions over one key feature.

Accorrding to Mr Kuo, Apple will announce three new iPhones this year — the iPhone 7S, iPhone 7S Plus and iPhone 8.

News.com.au tech editor Matt Dunn talks iPhone 8 rumours

Both the 7S and 7S Plus will have traditional LCD screens, while the premium 5.8-inch iPhone 8 will have an OLED display.

“Apple’s OLED iPhone will adopt full-screen design, with the highest screen-to-body ratio of any smartphone currently available worldwide,” the research note read, reported Street Insider.

The analyst claimed all three new models will come with 64GB or 256GB storage options, a Lightning port and embedded USB-C power delivery integrated circuit, and facial recognition.

“To maintain its boutique image, we think the OLED version will offer fewer options for casing colours than LCD iPhone models,” the note added.

While most of these predictions confirm longstanding rumours, Mr Kuo admitted he was still puzzled over Apple’s plan for the fingerprint sensor.

“The OLED model will also come with a virtual Home button, though the button will not support fingerprint recognition,” the note explained.

A leaked image of the iPhone 8 highlighted a rear fingerprint scanner on the device.

A leaked image of the iPhone 8 highlighted a rear fingerprint scanner on the device.Source:Supplied

Mr Kuo said the tech giant’s existing fingerprint recognition would not work with the full-screen design and claimed there has been many technical challenges with the scan-through ability of the under-display fingerprint solution.

He added these difficulties will likely see a delay in the iPhone be ready for consumers.

“For optimised promotional effect, we think Apple may unveil the three models simultaneously in September, though the launch date of the OLED version may trail that of LCD models, and supply tightness may not improve before 1H18,” the note read.

Earlier this year, a shared schematic of the forthcoming device showed the fingerprint scanner moved to the rear of the phone and while Android phones have used this feature for years, Apple fans were not supportive of the concept.

Other than moving the fingerprint scanner to the rear of the device, Apple doesn’t have many options except for removing the feature in lieu of facial recognition.

Although as that method poses numerous security risks, it will likely not be the solution.

For now we just wait.
Are you excited for the iPhone 8? Continue the conversation in the comments below or with Matthew Dunn on Facebook and Twitter.

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