Apple Dismisses Rumors of Ever Putting Touch ID on Back, Side, or Under Display of iPhone X


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

For over a year leading up to the iPhone X, rumors ran rampant about Touch ID being placed under the display, or on the back or side of the device, but Apple's hardware engineering chief Dan Riccio says the reports were never true.

In an interview with TechCrunch's editor-in-chief Matthew Panzarino, Riccio said Apple "spent no time" looking at implementing fingerprint authentication in these ways because it was already focused on perfecting Face ID.
"I heard some rumor [that] we couldn't get Touch ID to work through the glass so we had to remove that," Riccio says, answering a question about whether there were late design changes. "When we hit early line of sight on getting Face ID to be [as] good as it was, we knew that if we could be successful we could enable the product that we wanted to go off and do and if that's true it could be something that we could burn the bridges and be all in with. This is assuming it was a better solution. And that's what we did. So we spent no time looking at fingerprints on the back or through the glass or on the side because if we did those things, which would be a last-minute change, they would be a distraction relative to enabling the more important thing that we were trying to achieve, which was Face ID done in a high-quality way."
Rumors about Apple embedding Touch ID into the iPhone X's display surfaced as early as May 2016, so it remains possible that the company at least explored the idea, but never proceeded with it after moving forward with Face ID.

Several reports corroborated the rumors as recently as this past summer, which usually means they are true.

Many reports even made it sound like Apple was under pressure. In July, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Andy Hargreaves said Apple was still struggling to embed Touch ID under the display, to the point the iPhone X could have been delayed.

Sebastian Hou and Brian Chen, analysts at Hong Kong-based equity research firm CLSA, in May said there was a "high chance" that Touch ID would be placed on the back of the iPhone X like Samsung's Galaxy S8.

iPhone mockup with Touch ID on rear via iDrop News

It's worth noting that one Apple analyst, the oft-reliable Ming-Chi Kuo, predicted the iPhone X wouldn't have Touch ID back in July.

Kuo's latest prediction is that Apple will remove Touch ID on all iPhones launched in 2018 in favor of Face ID. He thinks the TrueDepth camera and 3D facial recognition system won't be significantly upgraded next year.

Face ID has proved to be reliable in early iPhone X reviews and first impressions, and it's also considered easy to set up and use.

Article Link: Apple Dismisses Rumors of Ever Putting Touch ID on Back, Side, or Under Display of iPhone X
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Reactions: Ghost31


Sep 25, 2015
I laugh because, I knew this as obvious reality long before Apple confirmed it. But people that don't know any better, people that don't know how real products are made, bought into the tech media garbage spewed all summer long.

It really is disgraceful the way people get their "information" from unsubstantiated rumor.


macrumors 68020
May 14, 2012
In 2020 Apple will phase out Face ID and roll out DNA ID. Apple dismisses rumors that they will place Face ID under the screen.
In 2024 Apple will rollout a new revolutionary new feature called Touch ID that uses your fingerprint.


macrumors 68000
Feb 3, 2016
the pool
I'm still concerned about my mates grabbing my phone, pointing it at me, who isn't paying attention, and giving them access to everything on my phone

Why is this different than Touch ID? Someone could easily grab my finger! But is it really that easy to grab my thumb and hold it over a small button? Probably not

I am aware that Face ID needs me to be aware, but I don't want to have to walk around with my head turned or eyes closed all day? This is why Touch ID is superior, despite the speed improvement seen with Face ID
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macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2010
"We figured that an intrusive notch would be better than to elegantly hide the touch id mechanism under the screen."
Well they weren't going to get rid of the top speaker for calls or the front facing camera, so where did you want them to hide those? The notch might've been a little smaller, but for the life of me, I can't understand why anyone thinks the notch is worse than having no screen to the left or right of it. Hide the time, signal, etc. somewhere so that there's more usable screen. I love the notch because I don't see a way to get rid of it without sacrificing that space I just talked about.


macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2012
I don't know about face id. I like the fact that Im in control if I place my finger on the sensor vs just looking at the phone. It would have been awesome to have both! would be a nice way of doing 2 factor on a sign in etc. I ended up getting a iPhone 8 Plus mainly for the Touch ID wireless charging a better camera. Im kinda tempted to try the X but without a home button would take some getting used to and again not sold on face id.
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macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2010
Face ID on Mac? They can't even put a 720p camera into MacBook...
Yay for 2018 MacBook having camera bumps on the outer shell to fit the Face ID tech in there...

This statement from Apple is a given really.
You expect them to confirm the negative?
"Yeah we tried to get Touch ID under the display, or on the side. We had a team working on that as well as a team working on Face ID. We planned to use both to give people an option.
We couldn't get Touch ID under the display so we launched with just Face ID"
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Iphtashu Fitz

macrumors regular
May 5, 2008
outside Boston
In 2020 Apple will phase out Face ID and roll out DNA ID. Apple dismisses rumors that they will place Face ID under the screen.
In 2024 Apple will rollout a new revolutionary new feature called Touch ID that uses your fingerprint.
The 2024 Touch ID feature will actually be "Touchless ID". You just wave your thumb/finger above the glass and lasers will map the grooves of your finger almost instantaneously.

Why do I feel like I should say "These are not the droids you're looking for" when making that gesture?
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macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2011
While I like the idea of having "TouchID" on the screen, the back would be too awkward. I still don't use it to unlock my current iPhone. Certain apps sure. And that is what I intend to do when I get the X. That way no one will get into my phone...except my wife...which could be worse than the cops!!!:rolleyes: