Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, reporting for Bloomberg*:
Apple Inc. is developing in-screen fingerprint technology for as
early as its 2020 iPhones, according to people familiar with the
plans. The technology is in testing both inside Apple and among
the company’s overseas suppliers, though the timeline for its
release may slip to the 2021 iPhone refresh, said the people, who
asked not to be identified discussing private work. […]
The upcoming fingerprint reader would be embedded in the screen,
letting a user scan their fingerprint on a large portion of the
display, and it would work in tandem with the existing Face ID
system, the people familiar with Apple’s plans said.
If true, I would guess this would be an optional way to increase security by requiring both Face ID and Touch ID authentication.
Apple is also working on its first low-cost iPhone since the
iPhone SE. That could come out as early as the first half of 2020,
the people said. The device would look similar to the iPhone 8 and
include a 4.7-inch screen. The iPhone 8 currently sells for $599,
while Apple sold the iPhone SE for $399 when that device launched
in 2016. The new low-cost phone is expected to have Touch ID built
into the home button, not the screen.
The SE debuted about 6 months after the iPhone 6S, with the same A9 chipset. If Apple follows the same playbook, this new iPhone would have the A13 chip we expect to see in next week’s new iPhones — the iPhone 8 has an A11 that will soon be two years old. Makes a lot of sense — none of the X-class phones are going to drop to $400 in 2020, but it would be good for Apple and for users if there were a $400 iPhone with A13 specs. The only downside of this report is for people holding onto hope that Apple will make a new SE-sized phone with a 4-inch display. I would expect this rumored phone to look as much like an iPhone 8 as the SE looks like an iPhone 5S.
* Bloomberg, of course, is the publication that published “The Big Hack” last October — a sensational story alleging that data centers of Apple, Amazon, and dozens of other companies were compromised by China’s intelligence services. The story presented no confirmable evidence at all, was vehemently denied by all companies involved, has not been confirmed by a single other publication (despite much effort to do so), and has been largely discredited by one of Bloomberg’s own sources. By all appearances “The Big Hack” was complete bullshit. Yet Bloomberg has issued no correction or retraction, and seemingly hopes we’ll all just forget about it. I say we do not just forget about it. Bloomberg’s institutional credibility is severely damaged, and everything they publish should be treated with skepticism until they retract the story or provide evidence that it was true.
★ Thursday, 5 September 2019