Technical issues like the lamination of OLED panels and adoption of 3D sensors were cited as possible reason to delay the iPhone 8 launch
Apple components suppliers are struggling in housing the optical fingerprint sensor underneath the OLED display of the upcoming iPhone, which could leads to delay its launch or removal of the senor altogether.
According to the Investors, the assessment came from Pacific Crest Securities Analysts.
Technical issues like the lamination of OLED panels and adoption of 3D sensors were cited as possible reason to delay the iPhone 8 launch by the Cupertino-based firm, in earlier reports also. But the possibility that Apple might scrap the fingerprint sensor from iPhone 8 never came into the picture.
"While this (housing of fingerprint sensor) creates some risk of production delays, at this point we do not believe it materially threatens volume through the coming iPhone cycle," Pacific Crest told the Investors.
Pacific Crest explained: “The anticipated move to a full-screen OLED panel in the coming iPhone 8/X eliminates the physical home button, which necessitates a move to a virtual home button and an optical fingerprint sensing solution to read fingerprints through the OLED panel.
“At this point, we do not believe Apple's optical fingerprint module provider has firm orders for production, which suggests Apple does not have functionality of the optical fingerprint sensor ready. Additionally, we believe Apple has evaluated Synaptic's (SYNA) optical fingerprint solution, but that it has not been qualified.”
If Apple fails to include an optical fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 8, it will have to rely on other biometric 3D-sensors to unlock the device. In this context, the firm could opt for facial recognition and/or iris scanner, as used by its rival Samsung in Galaxy S8 models.
"Since fingerprint login is such a widely used feature and 3D sensing is unproven for this purpose, a wholesale elimination of fingerprint sensing in the OLED iPhone would create incremental risk to consumer adoption," Pacific Crest said.
And if delayed, the iPhone 8 will make its way to the markets in October or November, according to Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN).