iPhone in-screen Touch ID won’t be happening this year

There has been a great deal of fuss around in-screen or under-display sensors, most of which are designed to remove bezels or even cutouts from a display. The first to go was the fingerprint scanner, now followed by the front-facing camera. Apple has long abandoned the former, preferring to keep a wide notch to power its Face ID replacement to fingerprint sensors. The company hasn’t given up on Touch ID entirely, however, but its next evolution might not appear on the iPhone 13 later this year, after all.

When Apple removed Touch ID from the face of its phones, it didn’t follow Android’s convention of relocating the fingerprint sensor to the back or side. Apple didn’t follow the trend of using in-screen fingerprint scanners either but instead stuck with Face ID through thick or thin. Apparently, that isn’t its end-game, but that in-screen Touch ID is far from coming soon.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has been testing an in-screen version of Touch ID for quite a while now. While it’s intended for a future iPhone model, it won’t be making the cut this year, apparently. In fact, supply chain sources indicate there’s no hard timeline for the technology yet.

The scenarios for in-screen Touch ID implementations are quite curious, though. One possibility is for the iPhone Pro models to use in-screen Face ID while the base models will switch to in-screen Touch ID. Another option would be for non-Pro models to continue using notches while the premium line goes with under-display Face ID.

Both scenarios, of course, require that Apple adopt in-screen Face ID in addition to in-screen Touch ID. The former has been proven to be quite tricky to get right, and Apple is unlikely to put a solution it isn’t satisfied with into production.

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