KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo just released a new report, outlining some of his expectations for Apple’s 2017 iPhone. He is expecting some structural changes that include a whole new Touch ID fingerprint reader. Kuo believes Apple is designing this fingerprint reader to get rid of bezels. In order to do so, the company needs to design a brand new optical sensor that will sit under the glass. He says the development is underway, but early enough to be ready in time for 2017 iPhone.
“Apple may switch to a film sensor from the current FPCB sensor in order to provide better 3D Touch user experience, as a film sensor offers higher sensitivity. Also, we expect the new OLED iPhone will come with a flexible OLED panel. To avoid deforming the form factor of the flexible OLED panel from touch operation pressure, a metal structural part will be placed under the film sensor to provide more robust structural support.”
The future iPhone may not even require a fingerprint reader. KUO claims this feature may be phased out in favor of a facial recognition system. Facial recognition is nothing new, but need to be advanced to overcome technical challenges if you want to ditch fingerprint reader in the long run.
“Judging by the bio-recognition patents that Apple has applied for, we believe it is leaning toward facial recognition technology rather than iris recognition. However, we note that the technical challenges of facial recognition include: (1) algorithms; (2) hardware design; and (3) the build-out of a database for verification and authentication, which could be time consuming. As such, before Apple can fully replace the fingerprint system with facial recognition, a combination of the two steps of bio-recognition could be a valid solution for enhancing transactions security.”
Don’t get impatient if these predicted features don’t make the cut. Analysts may have the inside track o future products, but that information could be incomplete and subjected to change. However, one thing is sure; interacting with your iPhone will be a lot easier in the future.