Hong Kong-based equity research firm CLSA is saying there’s a “high chance” that Apple’s OLED-based iPhone 8 could come with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor after all.
They even drew a diagram, which was shared with MacRumors, showing Touch ID placed below the Apple logo on the rear.
Such a placement would make Touch ID easier to reach and help Apple avoid some of the criticism leveled against Galaxy S8, which has relocated its fingerprint sensor from the Home button found on the front of previous Galaxies to the back of Galaxy S8, next to its camera.
Here’s an excerpt from the report:
iPhone to ditch fingerprint sensor? We don’t think so.
Both Samsung and Apple tried to enable in-display fingerprint sensing on full-screen OLED phones in 2017, but their optical tech seems immature and the major iPhone 8 bottleneck. Some thus speculate the fingerprint sensor will be removed and replaced by 3D sensing.
Our latest supply chain checks indicate that iPhone 8 will still have the sensor given security, user-friendliness and a need for payments infrastructure, but there is a high chance it will be on the back like Samsung’s Galaxy S8.
The diagram CLSA shared, seen below, suggests that iPhone 8 could be slightly larger than iPhone 7 but smaller than its Plus brethren at 144mm tall, 71mm wide and 7.69mm deep.
Other features we can infer from the drawing include a vertically aligned dual-lens camera out the back and new sensors for the front-facing camera, possibly to support the previously rumored 3D sensing, facial recognition and augmented reality functionality.
According to Benjamin Geskin on Twitter, his own source has dismissed CLSA’s drawing as fake and their research note as ”1000 percent false”. On the other hand, Android Police has called Geskin’s own leaks as fake, so there’s that.
All that we see today, maybe it's the iPhone 7S with glass back and wireless charging. And not the #iPhone8
What do you think?
— Benjamin Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) May 7, 2017
Be that as it may, CLSA’s report would definitely be in stark contrast to the recently leaked iPhone 8 manufacturing molds and technical drawings that show what appears to be a wireless charging mat on the back, but no rear Touch ID.
For what it’s worth, older iPhone 8 schematics—some of which have been dismissed as possibly doctored—did depict a circular cutout on the back of the device, right below the Apple logo, that may or may not indicate a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.
Apple is said to be prototyping as many as ten different iPhone 8 models this year, with some of them possibly being Apple’s fallback iPhone 8 model with Touch ID on the back.
JPMorgan analysts speculated this week that iPhone 8 could feature enhanced stereo sound and waterproofing via an improved earpiece. JPMorgan added that iPhone 8 could ship with Apple’s $159 AirPods, potentially replacing the wired $29 EarPods with Lightning connector that come in the box with existing iPhone models.