It looks like we may have to wait a good while before Apple introduces under-display Touch ID sensors to its iPhones. The feature was somewhat expected to make an appearance in the iPhone 13 line-up, but didn't meaning we're hoping to see it in the iPhone 14.
However, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is shutting down the rumors by claiming that iPhones with under-screen Touch ID likely won't arrive until the second half of 2023. This means that the feature might be added to the iPhone 15, likely to arrive in two years. (One of our editors thinks the iPhone 14 may not need Touch ID, but that's a different story).
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Although Kuo had initially predicted that Apple would implement the under-display Touch ID in the second half of 2022, the analyst now expects a significant delay due to "lower than expected development progress," and noted that "this will hurt iPhone shipments in 2022 and 2023" too.
Kuo didn't provide any further details on the matter, though he did mention that when under-display Touch ID does arrive, it won't replace Face ID in its entirety. On the contrary, both biometric authentication options are meant to compliment each other so as to provide users with more options.
Touch ID was first embedded in the Home button of the iPhone 5S in 2013. The feature is now only seen in Apple's affordable iPhone SE. Ever since the introduction of the iPhone X, the feature was replaced by the Face ID.
And while Face ID is a quick and convenient way to make Apple Pay payments, unlock your iPhone, approve sign-ins and more, the feature has quickly become less effective with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a world where many people are still wearing face coverings in public places, Face ID can become a little unstuck and struggle to recognize legitimate iPhone users. That's exactly the reason why many, including us, had hoped that Apple would introduce a form of Touch ID in the iPhone 13.
But despite all the rumors, leaks and patents, Cupertino didn't include the feature. And although the iPhone 13 still received a handful of upgrades, such as the cinematic mode, smaller notch and an improved camera system, the lack of the Touch ID left some in doubt of whether the new iPhone is worth getting after all.
iPhone Flip tipped to now arrive in 2024
Kuo also briefly mentioned that Apple's first foldable, the so-called iPhone Flip, might not arrive until 2024, having previously stated that it would launch in 2023.
We've already heard a number of rumors and alleged leaks on Apple's potential foldable. Kuo claimed that Cupertino's first foldable device could get an 8-inch display, which in theory is bigger than that of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.
Regular leaker Jon Prosser had also previously said that Apple's allegedly upcoming foldable "isn't really a foldable." The tipster claimed that "the current prototype has two separate display panels on a hinge." That design could therefore be reminiscent of the Microsoft Surface Duo. Prosser also added that the device would have no notch and round stainless steel edges, mimicking the design of the iPhone 11.
And just yesterday, we spotted a report from Business Korea claiming that Apple might be exploring the idea of not one but two foldable devices, one of which could get a clamshell design (similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3), while another could have a folding design like the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The source also mentioned that Apple could be collaborating with LG instead of Samsung Display on a flexible display for its first foldable device.
As it stands, we can't corroborate any of these rumors, and a lot are based on speculation. But we'd not be surprised to see Apple enter the foldables arena before too long. After all it can't sit by while Samsung dominates the best foldable phones list.