The steady stream of leaked iPhone 8 schematics out of Apple's supply chain continues, and we hope the latest one either represents an early prototype, an abandoned Plan B or just someone's 4-20 celebration taken a bit too far.
That's because this schematic doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in the upcoming iPhone's design.
Credit: Sonny DicksonThe leak comes courtesy of Sonny Dickson, who posted the unsourced schematic to Twitter. BGR describes Dickson as having a mixed track record on leaks, and we hope this is one of those misses, as the schematic shows a drawing of an iPhone with a fingerprint sensor on the back right beneath an Apple logo.
That would be quite a change for Apple, which has put its Touch ID sensor on the front of its phones since introducing the feature with the iPhone 5s. But Apple is reportedly planning a big redesign for the iPhone 8, and the status of the Touch ID sensor is currently up in the air.
Most of the rumors surrounding the iPhone 8 suggest that Apple's next phone will have an edge-to-edge display similar to what Samsung and LG have introduced on the Galaxy S8 and G6, respectively. That would require Apple to move the home button and the Touch ID sensor that lives beneath it. The home button is likely to become a virtual button on the iPhone 8, and, ideally, the Touch ID sensor would remain on the front of the phone positioned underneath that bezel-free display.
However, analyst reports suggest that Apple is having a hard time mass producing an under-the-screen Touch ID sensor. That could force Apple to find a new location for the sensor or to delay the iPhone 8's release until it sorts out the production bottleneck. (Similar production issues reportedly forced Samsung to move its fingerprint reader to the back of the Galaxy S8.)
Dickson's leaked schematic isn't the first to feature a rear Touch ID sensor. That at least would suggest Apple is considering the back of the iPhone 8 as a possible location for a fingerprint reader.
Of course, that could just be one option. Apple considers multiple designs when developing new products — a Wall Street Journal report from last year claimed Apple was considering at least 10 different iPhone 8 prototypes — so this schematic may not represent the final version of the next iPhone. We certainly hope not, as a rear fingerprint sensor is a pretty big compromise when it comes to functionality.