Touch ID won’t be part of the redesigned iPhone that Apple introduces next week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Rumors that Apple will ditch the fingerprint sensor, which it first popularized on smartphones in 2013, have been popping up for months now. Bloomberg said in July that Apple was hoping to replace the fingerprint sensor with facial recognition, but it wasn’t a sure thing just yet. That same day, an industry analyst went further and said the phone likely won’t include Touch ID on its front. Now, the Journal appears to be the first news outlet to report that a fingerprint scanner won’t be included at all.
The Journal says that Apple ran into production issues trying to embed Touch ID into the new phone’s screen. Those troubles, combined with some others related to the phone’s use of an OLED display, apparently pushed production back by a month. So eventually, Apple just decided to cut the fingerprint sensor entirely and rely on facial recognition for unlocking the phone instead.
Those production delays reportedly mean the redesigned iPhone could see “extended supply shortfalls” when it launches. This wouldn’t be altogether surprising. Like clockwork, reports pop up each year about how there’s going to be a limited supply of Apple’s new smartphones, and they tend to be true to varying degrees. Sometimes it’s confined to new colors, and sometimes it just means constraints during the first launch weeks.
In this case, there have been rumors pretty much all year that the redesigned iPhone will be in short supply. It’s even possible the phone will launch at a slightly later date than the other two iPhones — updates to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus — that Apple is expected to introduce. That means prospective customers probably shouldn’t expect to be playing with a redesigned iPhone by the end of this month, or even next.