The feature that Android users seem to miss the most after switching to iPhone is the fingerprint reader. For anyone who has used an Android device, this tap of the finger onto the reader is burned deep into muscle memory.
Rumors have been circulating for some time now that Apple has been working on an in-display to either replace or augment Face ID. There was even frantic chitchat that this feature would make it into the next iteration of the iPhone.
I heard from quite a few Android users who were quite interested in this feature.
But those hopes are now dashed.
Must read: Do you trust Apple?
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman writing for the Power On newsletter, Apple is sticking with Face ID.
“While Apple had tested in-screen Touch ID for the next flagship iPhones,” writes Gruman, “it won’t make the cut this year. I believe Apple is all-in on Face ID for its higher-end iPhones and its long-term goal is to implement Face ID in the display itself.”
There’s a bit to unpack there, but the bit that stands out to me is the “Apple is all-in on Face ID for its higher-end iPhones,” [emphasis added].
This fits in well with the chatter that’s been coming my way. That Face ID was the biometric of choice for high-end smartphones, and that a replacement for Touch ID was being tested for budget iPhones.
There’s only one reason that Apple would be dabbling with an updated Touch ID system — money. The tech needed for Face ID is not cheap, and building it into a notchless iPhone will make it more expensive.
This explains why we keep hearing rumors that budget iPhones will continue to feature the notch in the display.
Bottom line is that Apple needs to keep costs down and margins up, especially on those cheaper iPhones, and Face ID is not cheap.
This is why we might still see it make an appearance on a budget iPhone at some point in the future.
We expect to get our first official look at the iPhone 13 next month. We expect it to have a smaller notch, faster processor, improved display, more storage for the higher-end models, and an updated camera array.