Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Following a report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggesting the next-generation "iPhone 8" will do away with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor entirely, Bloomberg says Apple is working on an "improved" security system that will let customers unlock their iPhones and make Apple Pay payments with facial recognition technology.

Apple's new facial recognition engine is powered by a 3D sensor rumored to be built into the front-facing camera, and according to Bloomberg's sources, Apple is also said to be testing eye scanning to "augment the system." Using facial recognition, the iPhone can be unlocked within a few hundred milliseconds and it allegedly works even when the device is lying on a table. It's said to capture more data points than a fingerprint scan, making it more secure than Touch ID.

iPhone 8 dummy shared by OnLeaks and Tiger Mobiles​
The sensor's speed and accuracy are focal points of the feature. It can scan a user's face and unlock the iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds, the person said. It is designed to work even if the device is laying flat on a table, rather than just close up to the face. The feature is still being tested and may not appear with the new device. However, the intent is for it to replace the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, according to the person. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
Samsung built a similar feature, iris scanning, into its Galaxy S8, which has not proven to be foolproof. Hackers have successfully bypassed the feature using a printed photo with a contact lens on top of it, and in a video, a launch version of the S8 was shown being fooled by a photograph alone.

Apple's solution is said to be more secure because it is using 3D depth perception, preventing it from being bypassed by 2D pictures.

Bloomberg warns that the feature is "still being tested" and that Apple could have decided to nix it, so it continues to be unclear if the iPhone 8 will indeed do away with Touch ID entirely in favor of facial recognition.

Rumors surrounding Touch ID in the iPhone 8 have been all over the place during the course of the last few months. Apple was rumored to be having difficulty embedding the Touch ID fingerprint sensor under the display of the device and explored other solutions including a rear Touch ID button, but the company's final solution remains up in the air. What we do know is that the most recent dummy models and part leaks show a display without a Touch ID button, suggesting it's either under the display or non-existent.

Today's report also includes a quick mention that Apple is testing faster displays with ProMotion technology for the iPhone 8. ProMotion display technology, which features a 120Hz refresh rate for improvements to motion and animations, was first introduced in 2017 iPad Pro models.

Article Link: Apple Working on 'Improved' Security System for iPhone 8 That Replaces Touch ID With Facial Recognition


macrumors 604
Mar 3, 2010
Honest question: aren't facial features much easier to replicate than fingerprints?

I mean, if I steal Bill Gates phone and I rush to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum would i gain access to his bank accounts by taking a selfie with his statue ?


macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2015
Bloomberg suggests that Apple is testing this. That can't be the case for a TouchID replacement. It is far to close to launch to see if facial recognition can sufficiently replace TouchID and still have time for a TouchID solution. TouchID would already have to be in place.


macrumors member
Sep 15, 2015
I will have to take a hard pass if it doesn't have TouchID. Most of the time Apple Pay is ready before I even finish pulling the phone out of my pocket. What's the point in wasting all of that time to look like an idiot trying to take a selfie and holding up the line instead of paying?


macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2015
I think that, in order for this to be the case, Apple must have found a way for IR facial recognition to work at arms length from the face with fast/reliable capabilities. No one is going to use facial recognition to unlock and then hold the phone up to a card reader for NFC (or vice versa). It has to be one easy motion as it already is today.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2013
What if we use our iPhone in the night and if we have a black skin ? ;(

I don’t think it’ll be an issue honestly. While I don’t have dark skin, I regularly use Windows Hello in the dark and it unlocks instantly with my camera. I’m assuming they’ll be using similar technology since my camera uses depth also, it works frighteningly well.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2015
It's too late for them to be "considering" and "testing" this for the new iPhone. They would have to already have everything in the hardware plan for this to be ready for shipping in a few months. Unless they already had it before and just need to make some IOS software updates. Then they could jettison the Touch ID under glass if it wasn't working and fall back on this.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.