Refreshing this fall’s iPhone 12 could see Touch ID return in some high-end models, according to a report, with supply chain partners Apple BOE and Qualcomm, who allegedly collaborated on a fingerprint at ultrasound integrated into the screen.
The introduction of the larger screens of iPhone X and later iPhone models forced Apple to create and use Face ID as an alternative to Touch ID, to eliminate the home button from iPhone design. In a report released Monday, Touch ID could make a comeback in late 2020 for certain “iPhone 12” models.
According to the Economic Daily News, touchscreen display partner GIS and assembly partner Qualcomm would work with display company OLED BOE to integrate ultrasonic fingerprint recognition technology into its screens. A GIS touch panel plant that is part of the Hon Hai group will apparently be used for the production of the components.
GIS and Qualcomm supplied the modules used by Samsung in its series of Galaxy S20 smartphones. It is suggested that if Apple is looking to add similar functionality to its iPhone line-up, both companies will benefit from the technology, with the producer of OLED BOE panels preparing to incorporate the components into its displays.
The report builds on earlier rumors that Apple wanted a form of Touch ID revival across its line of devices, in the form of an on-screen display. Apple has several patents on the subject, including the use of acoustic imagery and a pinhole system for an optical solution.
Although the report seems plausible due to GIS and Qualcomm’s previous relationship with Apple, the stumbling block is BOE. Chinese display maker is believed to be trying to secure a place in the Apple iPhone supply chain, including Apple OLED lines only in anticipation of orders, but so far no confirmation BOE’s involvement in the iPhone 12 has not yet been confirmed. range.
In March, it was said that BOE was collaborating with GIS on OLED panels for use on a 5.4-inch model, but it was unclear whether a contract had been signed by Apple for its production.
Currently, Samsung and LG Display are supplying iPhone screens to Apple, but it remains to be seen whether Apple needs more production capacity in addition to what these two suppliers can also supply.