Apple is continuing to work on display-embedded fingerprint technology and may release an iPhone with an under-the-screen Touch ID sensor in the future, according to a prolific leaker.
Touch ID under the screen has been rumored for several years now, including by TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. But despite signs that Apple is continuing its development of display-embedded fingerprint sensor, those rumors have yet to materialize.
In a tweet on Thursday, however, serial leaker @L0vetodream suggested that Apple still plans on bringing Touch ID back to iPhones through an under-display mechanism.
MESA uts for iPhone— (@L0vetodream) October 16, 2020
As fellow leaker Jon Prosser pointed out, "MESA" is an internal codename for Touch ID. "UTS" stands for under-the-screen.
"MESA" is Touch ID.— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) October 16, 2020
"uts" is "under the screen"
Rumors of a fingerprint sensor embedded in an iPhone display first surfaced prior to the launch of the iPhone X. Although Apple opted for Face ID on its flagship iPhones since then, there has been a steady stream of patents and patent applications that indicate Apple is still working on display-embedded Touch ID.
Two July patent applications, for example, detail various methods to mitigate some issues involved in optical through-display fingerprint reading. Some Apple patent applications also suggest that the company has long wanted both Face ID and Touch ID on a single device.
There are also supply chain reports that suggest key Apple suppliers may be preparing to ship under-the-screen fingerprint recognition technology.
Kuo in 2019 forecast that Apple would release at least one iPhone with an under-display fingerprint reader in 2021. That could mean some type of Touch ID implementation on the iPhone 13.
Having both Touch ID and Face ID on an iPhone could offer several benefits for users, such as dual-biometric authentication for added security and the convenience to use a fingerprint if a user's face is obscured by a mask or another covering.