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Apple emphasizes again that Touch ID for iPhone X was never an option, company all-in on Face ID

Apple has once again reiterated that, despite rumors to the contrary, the company did not intend to have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor embedded in the display of the iPhone X, and that Face ID was developed to be a full, permanent Touch ID replacement.




Dan Riccio, senior vice president of hardware engineering with Apple, was asked by TechCrunch about rumors that persisted throughout 2017 about Touch ID being embedded in the iPhone X display. They were all bogus, he said.

"I heard some rumor [that] we couldn't get Touch ID to work through the glass so we had to remove that," Riccio said. "When we hit early line of sight on getting Face ID to be [as] good as it was, we knew that if we could be successful we could enable the product that we wanted to go off and do. And if that's true, it could be something that we could burn the bridges and be all-in with. This was assuming it was a better solution.

"And that's what we did. So we spent no time looking at fingerprints on the back or through the glass or on the side, because if we did those things — which would be a last-minute change — they would be a distraction relative to enabling the more important thing that we were trying to achieve — which was Face ID done in a high-quality way."

Apple's Face ID technology introduced in the iPhone X is made up of four components including an infrared camera, a flood illuminator, a dot projector, and the front camera. The combination of sensors generates a 3D map of the face that it compares to the mathematical models of the stored face, utilizing the new A11 Bionic neural engine.

AppleInsider's own tests with the iPhone X Face ID have found that it is a near-immediate and reliable way of securely unlocking the handset.

Up until this summer, reports suggested Apple might offer some combination of Face ID facial recognition and Touch ID fingerprint scanning. But Apple has repeatedly said since announcing the iPhone X that Touch ID was never a consideration so late in the development of the device.

The latest rumors have gone in the opposite direction. Now, it is said that Apple is planning to implement Face ID in all new iPhones scheduled to arrive in late 2018, expediting the retirement of Touch ID.