A rather sketchy rumor is suggesting Apple is planning to launch an all-new iPhone without Face ID, swapping the system for a new under-screen Touch ID sensor that will revert back to securely authenticating a user by capturing a scan of their fingerprint.
The report, shared across numerous Chinese media sites, claims the supposed move back to Touch ID would be to help significantly reduce component costs, thus allowing Apple to reduce the retail price of the device.
The report goes on to claim the new under-screen Touch ID device would be sold exclusively in China, a market which Apple competes heavily with manufacturers such as Oppo and Huawei.
Apple has previously made adaptations to devices specifically for the Chinese market, such as selling versions of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS max that use a physical dual-SIM card tray whereas the rest of the world can only use dual SIM with the combination of eSIM and one physical SIM card, but the introduction of a completely new, radically different iPhone model specifically for China would be an unprecedented move for Apple.
We certainly would suggest taking this rumour with a pinch of salt, especially given that the cost of integrating Touch ID under the display of the new iPhone model would presumably balance itself out with the cost of continuing to use Face ID, which world renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo along with others have all suggested will continue to be featured on Apple’s future iPhone models.