While Apple is being its usual secretive self when it comes to the new iPhone's specs, top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities released a note on Monday with his top predictions for the new model and for the two updated models. However, he does not clarify on whether the Touch ID sensor will be placed in an alternative location, or won't be around at all.
The rumor about Apple's next iPhone hero being able to scan one's face is not entirely without precedent. The technology is described as super-speedy, scanning a person's face and unlocking the iPhone in a matter of "a few hundred milliseconds".
The analyst predicts that the iPhone 8 will also feature a virtual Home button, but not a fingerprint scanner.
In addition to the face unlock feature, Apple is testing next-generation iPhone prototypes that include a dedicated chip for processing artificial intelligence tasks and screens that can display content at a higher frame rate.
Lastly, a separate report from the Korea Herald claims that Apple is close to striking a deal with LG to make OLED displays for iPhones in the future. Much debate has ensued with regard to where the Home button's displaced Touch ID fingerprint scanner will end up.
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Apple is said to be seeking to ideal an in-display fingerprint sensor in time for the iPhone 8, but recent reports have suggested progress is may not be ready in time, without causing long delays.
This adds credibility to other reports that showed that Apple has been working on a variant that features a fingerprint reader relegated to the back of the phone, below the Apple logo.
Apple will bring three new models to market this year. The analyst says Apple plans to release three new iPhones in 2017, including 4.7- and 5.5-inch models with LCD displays and a completely redesigned 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display.
To replace the Touch ID sensor, this 3D scanning feature would need to be faster and more accurate than its predecessor.