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Touch ID system

Apple Executive: The iPhone X Was Always Going to Include Face ID, not Touch ID

October 31, 2017

It’s probably the beginning of the end for Apple’s Touch ID system, according to the TechCrunch who recently sat down with some Apple executives who were discussing the iPhone X.

In a long-ranging interview with four Apple executives, Cupertino’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio said Touch ID was never supposed to be on the iPhone X, despite many rumors to the contrary.

As TechCrunch explains:

“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.”

The other Apple executives in the interview were Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller; SVP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, and VP of User Interface Design, Alan Dye.

For much of 2017, it looked like Apple was preparing to add some variation of Touch ID onto what would become the iPhone X. The earliest rumors suggested Touch ID would be embedded into the device’s OLED screen. By the summer, conventional wisdom had shifted with most thinking Apple was going to add a physical home bottom to the back of the device.

When the iPhone X was unveiled on Sept. 12, Apple introduced Face ID, claiming Touch ID was never going to be on the new handset. That’s the story Cupertino has been telling ever since.

Back in July, Ming-Chi Kuo became the first Apple analyst to predict the iPhone X would ship without Touch ID. His latest prediction says Apple will remove Touch ID from all 2018 iPhones as well. Kuo’s latest prediction is that Apple will ditch Touch ID on all 2018 iPhones too.