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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple's rumored "iPhone 8" with an OLED display and wireless charging will continue to have Touch ID, but there is a "high chance" it will be on the back of the smartphone, says Hong Kong-based equity research firm CLSA.

"iPhone 8" mockup with rear Touch ID sensor by Benjamin Geskin

An excerpt from a research note distributed this week by CLSA analysts Sebastian Hou and Brian Chen:
iPhone to ditch fingerprint sensor? We don't think so.
Both Samsung and Apple tried to enable in-display fingerprint sensing on full-screen OLED phones in 2017, but their optical tech seems immature and the major iPhone 8 bottleneck. Some thus speculate the fingerprint sensor will be removed and replaced by 3D sensing. Our latest supply chain checks indicate the iPhone 8 will still have the sensor given security, user-friendliness, and a need for payments infrastructure, but there is a high chance it will be on the back like Samsung's Galaxy S8.
CLSA created a diagram showing Touch ID placed slightly below the Apple logo on the back of the iPhone.

Samsung included a fingerprint sensor on the back of the Galaxy S8, but some reviews found it to be awkwardly positioned next to the camera. Apple placing Touch ID lower down could make it easier to reach.


The diagram also shows a vertically-aligned dual-lens camera, a widely rumored iPhone 8 feature seen in previous renders. There also appear to be additional modules next to the front-facing camera, likely for rumored 3D sensing and facial recognition functionality. Other features shown are identical to the iPhone 7.

The diagram suggests the iPhone 8 will be 144mm tall and 71mm wide, making it slightly larger than an iPhone 7 but smaller than an iPhone 7 Plus as expected. With a depth of 7.69mm, the iPhone 8 would be just a hair thicker than the iPhone 5s, if the dimensions CLSA lists prove to be accurate.

Touch ID on the back of the iPhone 8 appears to be a fallback solution given Apple's struggles to integrate the fingerprint sensor underneath the smartphone's display effectively enough for mass production. Leaked renders suggest Apple has explored a rear Touch ID sensor on at least one iPhone 8 prototype.

Other manufacturing challenges may push iPhone 8 production behind schedule by at least one or two months, possibly delaying shipments until October or November. Nevertheless, most analysts still think Apple will announce the iPhone 8 in September alongside the so-called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus.

While some Apple fans will quip that "this same rumor surfaces every year," oft-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities implied this year's shortage could be much more "severe" than in previous years.

Article Link: Rumors Persist About Apple Placing Touch ID on Back of iPhone 8
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macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
This years iPhone is the best iPhone since iPhone, but Touch ID is around back so next year we can upgrade people to a phone with Touch ID on the front.

Is it just me or do small bezels look equally as awful as "big" bezels? Top and bottom bezels look stupid with no side bezels as well. I would like to see small bezels all the way around the screen(or completely bezeless), I think it would look much more uniform.
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macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2007
From a practical standpoint, touch ID on the back just doesn't work. For one, you won't be able to unlock the phone while it's sitting on your desk, which immediately takes away 50% of your unlock options. Also, a case would have to have a cutout on the rear to accommodate, adding to the phone's vulnerability. Then there's the issue with car mounts - I often unlock while it's clipped into its dash mount to access the maps. (While stationary, of course). All seems like a step back.


macrumors member
Mar 1, 2016
Each day the sensor keeps moving front and rear!
Can't wait for September to see what it really would look like.
It will either be stunning or meh.. seems nothing in between.
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macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2016
It's a backup plan but I'm hoping it doesn't happen and at this point I don't think it will.
Moving it to the back would take away the magic of the device, especially with the full front displays becoming more popular with other flagship smartphones.
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macrumors newbie
May 6, 2017
Then there's the issue with car mounts - I often unlock while it's clipped into its dash mount to access the maps. (While stationary, of course). All seems like a step back.

However if there is facial recognition for login then actually this issue is immediately resolved.
It would be much safer too as there would be no need to touch the phone!


macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2012
Look, if Apple put that button on the back and don't use the logo, it will be and EPIC failure.

There will be NO kind of innovation in the new phone for it to be an anniversary phone, that's doing the same thing other phones have been doing years ago.

, not a little "hurray, I get to wireless charge after a few years". It also NEEDS to look different than the past 3 years version!

Apple don't rush, take your time and get it right by putting the button on bottom of the display.


macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2010
Wow. I thought it was settled.
I kinda think that if there remains space at the bottom and top like in the render, that it would remain at the bottom end.

But if the processor and all the other specs are the same between the 8 and 7s except for the OLED screen, I personally would stick with the LCD screen if it meant saving a few bucks that could go towards a higher storage capacity 7s plus model.

I've never been too keen on beta testing first gen Apple products anyways.
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macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2013
Might misjudge the mockup, but there's a chance Apple will be able to stack 8 app icons on top of each other with that tall iPhone 8 OLED screen.

Starting with the iPhone 4 and 4 app icons, the 5 with 5, the 6 with 6, skipping the 7, the 8 will restore order again ! ;)
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macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2012
However if there is facial recognition for login then actually this issue is immediately resolved.
It would be much safer too as there would be no need to touch the phone!

I would not trust any facial software these days. Folks are by passing that form by putting a picture of the persons face in front of the phone to unlock it.

Also many people out there wear detailed makeup, like doing contouring and end up looking like a big nose hag to Michael Jackson nose. Kim Kardashian does not look the same without her makeup. How will facial recognition work when they remove that mask of makeup?

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