Rumor: Apple developing iPhone display with integrated Touch ID fingerprint scanner, eliminating hom

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited June 2015
Rumors have persisted for years claiming that Apple may eventually eliminate the home button on its iPhone, and a new report suggests the company is looking into developing a new solution for moving its Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the display itself.




Citing sources in Taiwan's integrated circuit industry, DigiTimes reported on Monday that Apple is developing touch and display driver integration single-chip solutions for future iPhones. The chips are also said to include fingerprint sensors, which would allow for new iPhone designs without a home button, enabling the entire front panel to be the device's display.

The publication has a poor track record in predicting Apple's future product plans, but it does from time to time offer an accurate glimpse of what's next for the Cupertino, Calif., smartphone maker. And Apple has shown continued interest, in acquisitions and patent filings, in embedding its Touch ID fingerprint sensing technology into touchscreen displays.
Through patents and acquisitions, Apple has signaled interest in moving Touch ID to the iPhone's display.
Apple acquired fingerprint technology company AuthenTec in 2012, setting the stage for what eventually became branded as Touch ID. The current implementation, embedded in the home button, is exclusive to Apple's iPhone and iPad lineups.

Monday's latest rumor from the Far East suggests that Apple is unsurprisingly looking to bring more chip development in-house. Apple already custom designs some of the silicon in its iPhone and iPad lineups, most notably the A-series central processors, but the latest rumblings would indicate that Apple is also working on its own touch and display driver chips.

According to DigiTimes, Apple's interest lies in making display panels that are "ultra-thin and ultra-narrow." Integrating Touch ID and eliminating the home button could also allow for smaller designs.

With no timetable for release indicated in the report, it's highly unlikely that Apple plans to ditch the home button on its iPhone lineup anytime soon. This year's anticipated "iPhone 6s" update is expected to have largely the same external appearance as the iPhone 6 series, with the key feature addition likely being Force Touch input.

Rumors claiming that Apple is looking to ditch the home button date back as far as 2011, when it was incorrectly suggested that upcoming iPhone and iPad models would feature a radical design change.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53

    Design symmetry continues to be important. They'd never go with a wonky bezel like that. You'd see shorter on both sides, not as extreme as the above.

  • Reply 2 of 53
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    Hideous rendering
  • Reply 3 of 53
    cgjcgj Posts: 276member

    Hopefully this means we'll see Touch ID integrated into MacBooks, too

  • Reply 4 of 53
    chadmaticchadmatic Posts: 285member

    It's hard to imagine an iOS device without the home button.  I reckon it would be a very awkward adjustment period.  I am still fumbling with the relocated power button on the side of my iPhone 6, always get it mixed up with the volume buttons and accidentally put the display to sleep, same when taking photos.

  • Reply 5 of 53
    cashxxcashxx Posts: 112member

    Back to this rumor.....this was rumored a year or two ago.

  • Reply 6 of 53
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,019member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Hideous rendering
    whoever rendered this got the design taste of a 3-years old.
  • Reply 7 of 53
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,019member
    Good luck with accident touch during use. I see zero benefit for this beside saving 1/2" of the phone length. Why bother? No one complains about the length of iPhone. Apple never introduce a feature which brings little to none benefit but costs much resource for design and implementation.
  • Reply 8 of 53
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,614member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post



    Good luck with accident touch during use. I see zero benefit for this beside saving 1/2" of the phone length. Why bother? No one complains about the length of iPhone. Apple never introduce a feature which brings little to none benefit but costs much resource for design and implementation.

    I'm guessing that removal of the hardware for the home button saves a lot of production cost. Over a few hundred million units a year, that can add up fast.

     

    That said, I do think there'd be more to the rumor for that change to be successful. I can see the TouchID system being integrated with force touch to avoid the accidental triggering of the home button that would inevitably be on every screen. This is a bigger change to iPhone that it appears, so skepticism is warranted.

  • Reply 9 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post



    Good luck with accident touch during use. I see zero benefit for this beside saving 1/2" of the phone length. Why bother? No one complains about the length of iPhone. Apple never introduce a feature which brings little to none benefit but costs much resource for design and implementation.

     

    It's not even 1/2" saved. There's a total of almost exact 1/2" of space between the bottom of the display on the iPhone 6 to the bottom of the device. But you can't get that whole half-inch, because you can't extend the bottom of the display all the way without several severe user-interface issues, like: 



    1) with a standard grip, you can't easily reach the bottom of the device with your thumb (try it)

    2) many many MANY touch targets in apps are at the very bottom of the screen

    3) many case designs would also make it very hard to touch this area accurately and easily



    In addition to this, what part of these devices usually gets dinged up? The corners. Do you really want a display starting 1/8" from the corner of the device? No, you do not. Because it's going to get broken a lot more often.

  • Reply 10 of 53
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,506member

    You can start this rumor every some months or year and eventually will come true with the normal technology evolution. Without exact time line or specific version of iphone, it is as good as anyone's guess.

  • Reply 11 of 53
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,244member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    Design symmetry continues to be important. They'd never go with a wonky bezel like that. You'd see shorter on both sides, not as extreme as the above.


     

    No kidding, that's just ugly!!!!  I like the real button as it's used all the time.  Putting it on screen really doesn't make a lot of sense.  I like the home button where it is.  It's one of the things that makes a iPhone a iPhone and not looking like any old Android phone.  

  • Reply 12 of 53
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,244member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chadmatic View Post

     

    It's hard to imagine an iOS device without the home button.  I reckon it would be a very awkward adjustment period.  I am still fumbling with the relocated power button on the side of my iPhone 6, always get it mixed up with the volume buttons and accidentally put the display to sleep, same when taking photos.


     

    I HATE the power button location!!!!  I do the same things.  I try to adjust the volume and turn the phone off for example!!!  Just because it's natural to grab the phone to hit the button and you end up hitting the button on the opposite side also.  I still don't get why Apple did such a dumb thing. The top of the phone makes far more sense.  I think it's one of the dumbest things Apple has done with the iphone!!!

  • Reply 13 of 53
    macvictamacvicta Posts: 346member
    No thanks, I like the home button.
  • Reply 14 of 53
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JBDragon View Post

     

    I still don't get why Apple did such a dumb thing. The top of the phone makes far more sense.  I think it's one of the dumbest things Apple has done with the iphone!!!


     

    No large phones have buttons on the top. If they put it on the top, you'd be complaining how often you drop the phone trying to turn it on.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

     

    I'm guessing that removal of the hardware for the home button saves a lot of production cost. Over a few hundred million units a year, that can add up fast.


     

    Warranty/damage issue too. Remember how unreliable the iPhone 4 home button was? The iPhone 5 had a service program for its power button. The less moving parts, the better.

  • Reply 15 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post



    Good luck with accident touch during use. I see zero benefit for this beside saving 1/2" of the phone length. Why bother? No one complains about the length of iPhone. Apple never introduce a feature which brings little to none benefit but costs much resource for design and implementation.

     

    Unless Apple combines this with Force Touch such that you'd need a significant press before the phone will wake up. Further, adding in feedback with the Taptic Engine and you even get a physical "click" just like you do now with the home button.

  • Reply 16 of 53
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,938member
    This rumor is like the rumor of makeing the display a camera, yes it is possible,but why do it if it is not better than what we have.

    I would beleive Apple is investigate whether it make sense to make the display a sensing device like Touch ID, it only make sense for them to make mockup and do some real world testing. This is what Digity Times get wrong most time, they hear about Apple asking for some sort of prototype or mockup and they automatically assume it is going to be a product. Most likely competitor mock something up and then productized it even if it does not work well or make sense. Not to say Apple has not relaese a product which should have never seen the light of day but this is not normal course for Apple. They tend to go through lots of idea before they come out with what works.

    As people pointed out, if this is a coming change it will take getting use to and it better work equally well if not better than what we already have. It will also take time to get use too since you are going from a real object to virtual one and it take time. I can see Apple putting this on the Watch first, kind of make sense since I am already hating waking up in the morning and having to put in the pass code before I can use the watch.
  • Reply 17 of 53
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member

    No, please no. I won't go so far as to say "Apple wouldn't" because they have indeed done a lot of stupid things in recent years that I would never have expected.

     

    But this is idiotic. The home button is an essential part of the user experience. Apple got it right in the beginning, and they did it even better with the Touch ID sensor in the Home Button.

  • Reply 18 of 53
    19831983 Posts: 1,224member

    The home button is a very iconic iPhone feature, without it an iPhone wouldn't look like an iPhone and just resemble a multitude of Android devices. If they do intend on ultimately getting rid of it, it should be in a way that makes the device still recognisable as an iPhone.

  • Reply 19 of 53

    Didn't we see Samsung fail attempting this?

  • Reply 20 of 53
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Unless Apple combines this with Force Touch such that you'd need a significant press before the phone will wake up. Further, adding in feedback with the Taptic Engine and you even get a physical "click" just like you do now with the home button.

    Beat me to it. Force Touch solves this.
    Tactic will make the UI and apps more interactive.

    With all that said I don't expect an all screen iPhone yet.

    They can still remove the home button and gain about "1/4 of screen space by making the entire bottom bezel a TouchID sensor.
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