Apple has “cancelled” plans to embed a Touch ID fingerprint sensor under the cover glass of iPhone 8, revered Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a note issued to clients last weekend, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider.

The publication cautions that it’s not clear when exactly Apple made the decision to drop the anticipated feature from this year’s OLED iPhone release, but it’s worth noting that Kuo himself called for an embedded fingerprint scanner back in January.

In July, however, the analyst did not include Touch ID on his list of standout iPhone 8 features.

He cited technical challenges such as the requirement for a more complex panel pixel design, disappointing scan-through of the handset’s OLED panel (despite it being thinner than LCD panels) and weakened scan-through performance due to overlayered panel module.

“As the new OLED iPhone won’t support under-display fingerprint recognition, we now do not expect production ramp-up will be delayed again (we previously projected the ramp-up would be postponed to late October or later),” he said.

The lack of an under-screen Touch ID sensor is not a big deal in light of latest revelations that the phone’s new 3D sensors would supplant Touch ID with advanced 3D facial recognition.

Apple’s technology—which shouldn’t be confused with traditional facial recognition like that on Galaxy S8 (which is easily tricked by a headshot)—is believed to use depth information and be capable of scanning a user’s face even when the device is laying flat on a table.

According to Bloomberg’s reliable Mark Gurman, the system would capture more data points than Touch ID, making it more secure than Apple’s fingerprint scanner. “It can scan a user’s face and unlock iPhone 8 within a few hundred milliseconds,” Gurman wrote last month.

Image: chassis of an iPhone 8 clone with rear-mounted Touch ID-like sensor.

  • Trevnics

    I just don’t understand how Apple Pay is going to be used without Touch ID. I read the article where the iPhone 8 could possible detect your face while laying down on a flat surface, but what about when you put your iPhone up to a NFC reader? I personally will be disappointed if they do not include Touch ID embedded in the display. This iPhone 8 is suppose be a major upgrade and if they opt to remove the Touch ID or place it on the side or back that is just copying what other phones do and is lacking the innovation that Apple used to have. Plus I don’t know how the average consumer will feel about replacing Touch ID with facial recognition.

    • Seeing is believing, my friend. It will work in light and dark environments, at odd angles, capable of recognizing partially occluded face in a few hundred milliseconds.It’ll be seamless. This is some high-tech stuff they’re putting in that sensor, built on PrimeSense technology. It’s going to be at least as good as Touch ID. Participating banks and card issuers require a certain level of security in terms of authenticating purchases before permitting Apple Pay to interact with their systems. No way is Apple gonna replace Touch ID with something less secure.

      • triggerhappypunk

        it’s going to be a buzzkill at halloween parties… lol.

      • mickey

        No way around that one lol

      • Ademidayo Yussuff


    • mickey

      Not sure what you mean how it would work on an NFC reader. It would detect the same?

      • Trevnics

        Like using Apple Pay or a NFC tag when walking into work. You naturally put the iPhone up to the NFC reader with the front facing camera facing upward. This normally doesn’t cause an issue because your using your fingerprint to verify with TouchID, but if the iPhone 8 doesn’t have TouchID how can It detect your face to verify the the transaction with the front camera facing upward?

      • mickey

        I see. The ones I’ve come across are unobstructed with the worse ones possibly working if the “scan on a table” claim is accurate. I suppose if the line of sight is obstructed it’s useless. Apple should have some workaround if all this is true. Would be annoying if it wasn’t nearly as fast as Touch ID though.

  • Jamessmooth

    I’m disappointed, but didn’t see them using both Touch ID and Pearl ID anyway.

  • Jay

    Now it’ll be even easier for someone else to unlock your phone while you’re asleep.. thanks . On second thought maybe not as it may need to detect your eyes open, we’ll see..

    • Ademidayo Yussuff

      Some sleep with their eyes opened.

  • Rowan09

    We’ll see.

  • Charlie

    OMG that’s just ugly