The rumored 2017 iPhone 8 famously called for by KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (who has a good track record) would see Apple releasing a conservative iPhone 7 this year, skip the iPhone 7s next year and try for something revolutionary for the first time in what seems like years.
Conservative iPhone 7, fantastic iPhone 8 won’t make shareholders happy
Despite fantastic early sales of the iPhone 6s models, which well let’s face it Apple loyalty nearly guarantees, sales have fallen off and complaints are starting to be heard by even that fanboy base. It’s unwieldy and Samsung, HTC and others are releasing flagships that make the latest upgrades to the iPhone seem almost trite. And unfortunately, the iPhone 7, by most accounts (rumors) don’t have the iPhone 7 reversing Apple stock’s downward spiral.
This is not to say that that Apple is going anywhere and should right its ship or at least “shelter in place” soon with a new OSX or MacOS, iOS and at least a few surprises with the iPhone 7 but rumors continue for the iPhone 8 and how fantastic it will be.
Part of that aforementioned comfortableness that is the iPhone 6s Plus is due to that home button and its need for reading the fingerprint.
That’s likely to go away next year with the iPhone 8 because putting in the display itself has been shown to be a possibility.
The caveat, is that this innovation did not come about with Apple’s work. While Apple has surely been working on this bit of technology it was LG Innotek that showed the world that it can be done.
Assuming Apple can figure it out, or at least license it, it will give the company the opportunity to use the display rather than a fingerprint scanner on the back of the iPhone for Touch ID. Few, if any believe, that Apple is expecting to announce something similar that LG demonstrated today.
LG putting Apple, Samsung others to shame?
“LG Innotek cut a shallow furrow of 0.01inches (0.3mm) thick on the lower backside of the cover glass and installed the fingerprint sensor inside of it with using their supreme precision and combination technology,” the company said in its press release today. “With this module, the sensor is not exposed to the outside of the device, so manufacturer can produce a sleek designed smartphone. Fingerprint recognition area also can be indicated by various patterns up to design of complete product.”
The release added, “High-strength cover glass protects the sensor and prevents it from coming in direct contact with water or damage from scratches. At the same time, the new module secured the fingerprint recognition accuracy compared to the button type. The new module has a false acceptance rate (FAR) of 0.002%.”
Android’s free operating system and the ability for most handset producers to get the tech for free if not near free, puts Apple on an island to an extent. It will feel as if it’s living on an island when it succeeds, but on the other side of a moat when it falls behind multiple producers embracing Google’s Android as LG, HTC, Samsung and others do.
The best guess is that you’ll see Apple just going their own way with a something quite similar to what LG showed off today.
They will be back.