iPhone 5s Touch IDSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple is said to have plans to bring Touch ID back to iPhone.
  • The under-display sensor would be built by Qualcomm.
  • 2020 is pencilled in as the release year.

A new report by the Economic Daily News (via MacRumors has Apple representatives meeting with Taiwanese company GIS to discuss the possibility of putting an under-display fingerprint sensor into a 2020 iPhone.

The report – or pair of reports, to be accurate – claims that Apple intends to use a Qualcomm ultrasonic fingerprint sensor in at least one of the iPhone models that are pencilled in for a 2020 release. However, the same reports note that the design could be pushed back to a 2021 iPhone instead. That, if anything, sounds like the hedging of bets to me.

As MacRumors notes, ultrasnoic fingerprints ensors are just one option here.

There are currently two types of under-display fingerprint sensors, including optical and ultrasonic. Optical variants rely on light from a smartphone's display to create a 2D image of a fingerprint, while ultrasonic variants make use of high-frequency sound to generate a 3D image of a fingerprint.

It isn't clear whether Apple would ditch Face ID in any iPhone that regained Touch ID, but I would hope that isn't the case. At least in the iPhone 12 Pro, or whatever Apple ends up calling it.

If Apple follows its usual release cadence we can expect the 2020 iPhones to be announced next September, with a release coming in the same month. We'd expect more rumors and leaks to crop up in the coming months, too.