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Apple is rumored to be continuing research into under-screen fingerprint sensor technology with the aim of re-introducing Touch ID in its first full-screen iPhone model. This comes after Face ID debuted in the iPhone X in 2017, which led to speculation that Apple considered it an all-in-one biometric solution going forward.
Despite claims that under-screen Touch ID on a future iPhone is unlikely, Apple has intensified its research in under-screen fingerprint sensing technology. In fact, the company was granted a patent this week relating to under-screen Touch ID that combines shortwave infrared technology with an optical imaging system that could have multiple functions. This latest embodiment aims to read the user’s fingerprint when it touches the display, but it could also determine vein pattern, blood oxygenation, pulse, and the presence of gloves and wetness.
However, recent predictions as to when under-screen Touch ID might be introduced, if at all, have been pushed back. Trusted reports indicate that Apple did test an under-screen fingerprint scanner for at least some iPhone 13 models but apparently decided not to move forward with the idea.
According to industry sources, Apple is now expected to debut under-screen Touch ID in the two to three years following the debut of under-panel Face ID. This suggests that we could see a new under-screen version of Touch ID in a 2026 iPhone at the earliest, possibly in the same year that Apple is expected to move both Face ID and the front-facing camera under the display.
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While we cannot be certain that Apple will ever put Touch ID under iPhone screens, the company could also introduce an iPhone with Touch ID built into the power button, in line with the latest iPad Air and iPad mini models. However, there haven’t been any rumors to suggest that Apple plans to go down that avenue. As always, only time will tell what Apple has in store for its upcoming iPhone models.