We heard before that iPhone 8 could get delayed due to various technical issues stemming from a new augmented-reality 3D camera system, the lamination process of curved organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels and a new thin-film 3D Touch system.
Analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company, however, contends that iPhone 8’s rumored in-screen Touch ID sensor remains its biggest bottleneck.
Arcuri’s note issued to investors Wednesday mentions poor yields for iPhone 8’s Touch ID, suggesting Apple might even change the design of the handset if its in-screen fingerprint reader cannot be produced in volume in time for a fall launch.
“For the 5.8-inch OLED version, the biggest bottleneck remains integrating an under-glass fingerprint sensor into the display. The current yield rate of Apple’s in-house AuthenTec solution remains low and Apple seems unwilling to use other vendors’ products,” reads the research note.
Apple is highly unlikely to tweak iPhone 8’s design this late in the game.
It’s been well accepted that Apple’s engineers want to create a nearly full-screen iPhone, which would require putting a fingerprint reader, along with other sensors and components, behind the display in order to create a seamless bezel-less front.
I also don’t think they’re likely to ditch Touch ID and rely solely on facial recognition, as Arcuri suggested. What if Apple instead moved Touch ID to the backside of the phone, like Samsung did for the Galaxy S8 series?
I don’t think such a solution would fly with iPhone fans either.
Instead, Apple will likely pre-announce iPhone 8 alongside the iterative iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus updates this fall while delaying production of the OLED handset.