The latest Bloomberg report says a new type of Touch ID will be released by Apple on 2020 iPhones. It's a bit conflicting with Ming-Chi Kuo's report, when the analyst said Touch ID may only appear later in 2021.
In 2018, Apple retired Touch ID fingerprint security on newly launched iPhones. Because there's another better security method, it's Face ID.
However, the main reason is not because Apple trusts Face ID more than Touch ID. That's because Apple wants to improve the design of the iPhone, remove the physical Home button and increase the proportion of the display.
For Apple to bring Touch ID back, that means the iPhone design will need to change, or Apple needs the technology to integrate the fingerprint sensor under the screen. Of course, this technology has appeared on the market, and is equipped on many high-end smartphones today.
Most smartphones with under-display fingerprint sensors now use ultrasound technology to create a print and fingerprint print. The technology transmits ultrasonic waves through the screen, then measures what is returned to the sensor.
Basically, this technology is more secure and accurate than Apple's Touch ID. Because it reproduces a full 3D image, while the capacitive fingerprint sensor only captures a 2D image of a finger tip.
But this advanced technology has only been developed in the last few years, and so there are still limitations. For example, ultrasonic waves are difficult to penetrate the screen protector glass used on most smartphones today. Therefore, manufacturers must use a new type of glass, many times thinner.
And so far, only Samsung Galaxy S10 and Note 10 own this technology in the most complete way. Meanwhile most smartphones on the market are still using the old sensor technology with light, the accuracy is not high.
Bloomberg said that the Touch ID technology under the screen will only appear in 2020, if the test succeeds. That means Apple really cares about this technology, but it is still in the testing phase, and whether it is successful for mass production is unknown.
That also means Apple wants to develop this technology on its own, but there are quite a few vendors on the market who can help Apple. Perhaps Apple should learn from Samsung, to be able to create an iPhone with Touch ID sensor below the screen works most effectively, without affecting the screen design.
The Bloomberg report also mentions a new iPhone that will succeed the iPhone SE, and will appear in early 2020. The iPhone will have the same design as the iPhone 8, but has a 4.7-inch screen and rabbit ears.