Another report claims Touch ID is coming back to the iPhone

iPhone with Touch ID
iPhone with Touch ID (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new report says that Apple is working to bring Touch ID back to the iPhone.
  • Touch ID may come in the form of an in-screen fingerprint sensor.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Apple is working to bring back the fingerprint sensor to the iPhone 13 lineup. The Journal's Joanna Stern mentioned the potential change in a new report from the technology journalist called "What's in the Next iPhone? Check Samsung's New Galaxy S21."

Stern compared attempting unlocking her iPhone to the Galaxy S21, echoing all iPhone users' frustration when attempting to authenticate themselves with Face ID while wearing a mask.

Three seconds. Three whole seconds of my undivided attention. That's how long it takes me to unlock my iPhone when I'm wearing a mask. Face ID fails, and there I am, punching in a passcode like some Neanderthal. Half a second. According to my trusty stopwatch, that's how quickly I can unlock the new Samsung Galaxy S21, using its improved in-screen fingerprint sensor.

The report went on to say that Apple "has been working on in-screen fingerprint technology and has considered including both Touch ID and Face ID on the same device."

Stern's reporting lines up with an earlier report from Bloomberg, which also says that Apple is working on an in-screen fingerprint reader.

Though overall changes will be minor, Apple is still testing a key upgrade for 2021: an in-screen fingerprint reader. This would add a new method for users to unlock their iPhone, going beyond a passcode and Face ID facial recognition. Apple started to move away from fingerprint sensors in 2017 with the launch of the iPhone X, but Touch ID has remained as a feature on Mac laptops and cheaper iPhones since then. Qualcomm Inc., which provides Apple with 5G modems, earlier this month announced a faster in-screen fingerprint sensor.

Other rumors for the iPhone 13 (or iPhone 12S) include a 120Hz screen, time-of-flight camera, and a smaller notch.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

6 Comments
  • And people act like we will be wearing masks for the rest of our lives. Holy first world problem, boo boo, I had to type my pin in.
  • The problem is masks aren’t solving anything. Cloth masks and bandanas can’t stop a virus measured in microns and spread in aerosols not droplets.
  • Apple better go with the 3D ultrasonic finger print scanners instead of the 2D optical finger print scanners. Because those under the screen 2D optical finger print scanners are way less secure, and anyone can print out someones finger print on a piece of paper, then touch it to the screen, and then you will be logged in. You can't do that with something like the 3D ultrasonic finger print sensors found on the Galaxy S10's, S20's, and now S21's type devices.
  • Actually starting to see rumor reports talking about exactly that as the reason they have held off and that might be exactly what's coming
  • Which is coming? 2D Optical or 3D Ultrasonic? BTW Samsung's 3D scanner also makes sure that there is actual blood flow, because Qualcomm's ultrasonic sensor can check things like that, which adds another layer of security on top. 2D optical scanners can't do that.
  • Rumors pointing to 3D so far