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KGI Securities analyst predicts iPhone models in 2018 to ditch fingerprint recognition

In a note to investors, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple will likely replace the Touch ID fingerprint sensor with facial recognition capabilities on all iPhone units planned for manufacturing in 2018, according to a report by MacRumors.

According to Kuo, Apple will fully adopt Face ID as its authentication method to give it a competitive edge over Android smartphones.

In the past, Kuo has forecasted that it could take years for Android smartphone manufacturers to produce comparable technology that can compete against iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera and the Face ID feature.

“We predict all new 2H18F iPhone models will likely abandon fingerprint recognition,” Kuo wrote in the note. “We believe this change will allow all new models to realize a competitive advantage via differentiation, on the back of an integrated user experience of full-screen design and TrueDepth Camera/ Facial recognition/ Face ID/ AR applications.”

Kuo said Face ID will continue to be a key selling point of the new iPhone models in 2018, as wel as suggested that the upcoming iPhones will feature a full-screen design with minimal bezels like the iPhone X.

If his prediction is true, Apple will no longer produce any additional models with the iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus design, which would see the discontinuation of the Touch ID feature in the iPhone.

It is unclear whether Apple will continue to offer Touch ID for the company’s Mac and iPad products, but Kuo previously said that he expects 2018 iPad Pro models to shift to Face ID.

The discontinuation of Touch ID would also mean that Apple’s development on a rumored under-display Touch ID solution would potentially end.

In a note published earlier this week, Kuo said he anticipates Android smartphone manufacturers to “ditch” under-display fingerprint recognition in favor of camera-based 3D sensing technologies for user authentication.

Meanwhile, Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi recently suggested that Apple may not get rid of the Touch ID feature across all its products just yet.

He acknowledged that while he considers Face ID to be the future of biometric authentication, he said that there are settings where different biometric techniques or combinations of biometrics could work.

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