As it stands most of the sources believe Touch ID will not feature on the iPhone 8, despite suggestions it could be hidden in a curiously enlarged power button. This is also the position back in a new report from tech-focused equity specialists BlueFin Research Partners.
BlueFin even goes so far as to theorize that Touch ID could be included but disabled at launch and unlocked by a software update in the future. Apple has precedent for this with the late arrival of Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus via an iOS upgrade, but that is not on remotely the same scale as Touch ID.
Interestingly the whole Touch ID dilemma is also thought to be at the heart of significant iPhone 8 production delays which will see only a few million units available in its first month on sale. Touch ID was meant to be integrated under the new OLED display, but Apple hasn’t managed this and further OLED yield issues have killed initial supply.
The company says that after the initial bottleneck is overcome, there will be a rapid ramp up of production to 44M iPhone 8 units in Apple’s December-ending Q1 with 30M units planned for each subsequent quarter.
This would be record levels of stock for a single model. And combined with sales of the more incremental iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus, which will launch alongside it, BlueFin states “build plans for the balance of 2017 and for all of 2018 are at record levels”.
Of course the iPhone 8 – despite the central role of its dramatically enlarged OLED panel – is much more than a headline grabbing the screen. Fast charging, wireless charging and a new vertically aligned rear dual camera are all coming as well as much much more.
There will also be an expensive price tag, given the initial iPhone 8 shortages, I suspect millions will just hope for the chance to buy it at list price as auction prices will be insane and you might have to pay some premium over list price to get one.