iPhone with Touch IDSource: 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."

VPN Deals: Lifetime license for $16, monthly plans at $1 & more

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.