In-Screen Fingerprint Technology to be Adopted by Apple in 2020
September 09, 2019
Apple Inc. is developing in-screen fingerprint technology for as early as its 2020 iPhones, according to people familiar with the plans. The technology is in testing both inside Apple and among the company’s overseas suppliers, though the timeline for its release may slip to the 2021 iPhone refresh, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private work. In-display fingerprint readers have this year become ubiquitous among Android rivals to the iPhone, with the latest Samsung Electronics Co., Huawei Technologies Co., OPPO and Xiaomi Corp. flagships all featuring the technology. Its appeal lies in eliminating the need for additional bezel around the display while still retaining biometric security at the front of the device.
Apple introduced fingerprint scanning on iPhones in 2013, following its acquisition of AuthenTec Inc., a pioneer in the field. Integrated into the iPhone’s home button, the Touch ID system was used for unlocking the device, approving payments and authorizing app downloads -- and it gave Apple a technological edge with its speed and reliability. Touch ID was replaced with face-scanning sensors in 2017 with the iPhone X launch. Branded as Face ID, the new face authentication again put Apple ahead of the competition with a more robust and secure implementation than rivals.
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The upcoming fingerprint reader would be embedded in the screen, letting a user scan their fingerprint on a large portion of the display, and it would work in tandem with the existing Face ID system, the people familiar with Apple’s plans said.
Trudy Muller, a spokesperson, for Cupertino, California-based Apple declined to comment. Apple is considering including this in-screen touch sensor in the 2020 iPhone model if testing is successful, the people said. Suppliers have proven their ability to integrate the technology into iPhones, but the company has not managed to mass-produce it yet, one person familiar with the development work said.