Apple testing biometric iCloud access and possibly launching iPhone with in-display fingerprint tech

Apple is planning to launch an iPhone with an in-display fingerprint sensor in China, The Global Times reports, citing Chinese-language publication caijing.com.cn.

The new Touch ID system will replace Face ID in the country-specific model, according to the report. The original report referred to sources in the Apple supply chain. Apple’s sales have declined in China, with more customers opting for slightly less expensive devices from domestic manufacturers, including Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo. The relatively high cost of the hardware needed to run Face ID makes it easier for Apple to compete on price with a different biometric system.

The Global Times notes that an online poll asking what Chinese consumers would want optimized in a new iPhone shows the vast majority favor better price.

Apple currently holds 9 percent market share in China, according to Counterpoint Research, compared to 34 percent for Huawei, 19 percent for Vivo, 18 percent for OPPO, and 12 percent for Xiaomi.

Rumours have previously suggested Touch ID could return to some iPhone models, possibly in the form of acoustic fingerprint technology.

Biometric iCloud access

Apple is testing fingerprint and facial biometrics for iCloud web access with the beta versions of iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS Catalina, 9to5Mac reports.

Users visiting iCloud in Safari on any of the operating system betas are prompted to sign in using their Apple ID with biometrics. The process then runs using Face ID or Touch ID, depending on the user’s device.

The new feature is likely part of the company’s plans for ‘Sign in with Apple,’ which is being made available to developers this summer ahead of a public launch in September.

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