That Apple has been thinking about returning to Touch ID for some time is something that, at this point, will surprise virtually no one. It is true that Face ID, the camera identification system, has been tremendously effective since its debut a few years ago with the iPhone X, but the notch in which all the camera elements are located, the characteristic notch, is a solution that, by design, has never convinced Cupertino.
Apple would have been conducting several tests with screens that incorporate the fingerprint reader, which would eliminate the need to use the camera, as well as reserve a space somewhere on the front of the iPhone to place the biometric sensor. However, and according to some analysts, the solution would not have ended up convincing Apple managers. The reasons? We do not know. Perhaps a lower than expected performance or reliability, or perhaps an inferior image quality in the area of the screen with the sensor.
Be that as it may, it seems that Apple is still determined to do away with the notch, although we will still have to wait a bit for this change. In principle, and we do not expect any surprises in this regard, the upcoming iPhone 13 will repeat the design of the iPhone 12, although it is possible that with some differences. Among them, precisely, a slightly smaller notch, in a further sign that the company is less and less satisfied with this solution.
Another possibility for Apple would be to integrate the Touch ID sensor on one of the sides of the back of the phone. However, for some reason that I can’t quite figure out, it doesn’t seem that this option has been on the table long enough to have been taken seriously. And it surprises me since quite a few smartphones have opted for this formula, which, in general, seems to work quite well.
Instead, these voices point to biometric identification in future iPhones, beyond 13, which will continue to rely on Face ID, but with something that already seems to be closer: integrating all elements of the identification system, including the camera, under the screen. The cameras under the screen have evolved a lot this last year, but as we could read at the time they still did not offer the necessary image quality to entrust it with the responsibility of Face ID.
The elimination of the notch was originally planned for 2022, although it is not clear whether this was limited to the recovery of Touch ID directly on the screen. Now some analysts are starting to talk about Face ID under the screen in 2022, i.e. on the iPhone 14. Will Apple be able to be on time with the necessary technology? Otherwise, either it breaks its rule of keeping the same design for every two generations, or else it would be forced to keep the notch until at least 2024, with the launch of the iPhone 16.