A new investor note by Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple will launch a 2021 iPhone equipped with both Face ID and on-display fingerprint sensor.
Kuo bases his prediction on patents Apple has obtained related to fingerprint on display (FOD) and Android phone makers’ continued use of the technology. Both of those factors suggest to him that Apple will include the fingerprint scanning display technology in its smartphones in the near future.
In terms of technology, we predict that four critical technical issues of FOD will significantly improve in 12–18 months, including module thickness, sensing area, power consumption, and lamination yield rate. Therefore, we believe that Apple will launch the new iPhone equipped with both Face ID and FOD to enhance security and convenience thanks to the multi-biometrics.
Apple hasn’t included fingerprint recognition technology in its flagship smartphone lineup since the release of the iPhone X. The current lineup, the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max, all use Face ID to unlock and verify identification. Meanwhile many Android mobile phone makers have gone in the direction of in-display fingerprint sensing technology.
Kuo believes Qualcomm and GIS will benefit from Apple’s use of FOD, with Qualcomm supplying the ultrasonic FOD module and lamination and GIS providing the “large-area sensing ultrasonic” technology. Kuo asserts the likelihood of including FOD in future iPhone models will increase if the Apple Watch gains a biometric function in the future.