iPhone 8: Talk of delays and redesign over security
APPLE could be set to delay the release of the highly anticipated tenth anniversary edition of the iPhone as it struggles to implement a key security feature of the iPhone.
With the redesigned iPhone 8 expected to include a new edge-to-edge display, similar to Samsung's latest flagship phone, the designers at the Cupertino-based tech giant are reportedly still trying to crack the problem of how to include the fingerprint scanning Touch ID unit into the phone.
One option is that the screen itself will be able to scan a fingerprint although that presents technical challenges. Another option, similar to the one used by Samsung and other phone companies, is for the fingerprint scanner to be on the back of the phone, although that is considered a design compromise.
But a third option, raised by tech analyst Andy Hargreaves today, in a research note published by MacRumours, is that Apple will have a choice: delay the launch of the iPhone 8 or drop Touch ID from the phone.
"Likely options for Apple include a delay of production or elimination of fingerprint sensing on the OLED iPhone," Hargreaves says in the note to investors.
"If it's not able to fix the problems in that time frame, Apple may be forced to eliminate fingerprint sensing from the OLED iPhone altogether."
Apple introduced Touch ID into the iPhone with the 2013 release of the iPhone 5S and it is one of the key security features of the iPhone, particularly to ensure the security of Apple Pay.
If Apple dropped Touch ID from the iPhone 8, then the key biometric security measure would be facial recognition feature that is tipped to be a feature of the flagship phone.
Dropping Touch ID from the iPhone 8 would mean cheaper and older iPhones would have a key biometric security feature not in the top-of-the-range iPhone.
How Apple's engineers end up dealing with the Touch ID problem will become clear when the iPhone 8 finally hits the market later this year.
Meanwhile, in another new report out today, Japanese blog Macotakara says the new iPhone 8 will echo the design of the iPhone 4 with a stainless steel band wrapping around the middle of the phone that will have a glass front and back.
And the biggest change to the back of the phone, Macotakara says, is that the dual camera lenses in the iPhone 7 Plus will be incorporated into the iPhone 8 but stacked vertically down the length of the iPhone body to boost virtual reality features.