Apple is rumoured to be working on a China-exclusive budget iPhone.
It will reportedly drop Face ID in favour of an in-display fingerprint scanner.
Apple is possibly dropping Face ID in a bid to cut production costs.
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Apple ditched the home button from its iPhones on the 10th anniversary of the iconic product line-up. Alongside the home button, the company also dumped Touch ID in favour of Face ID. The latest development was painted as the future of biometric authentication, which is present in all iPhone X and up devices.
Now, fresh reports indicate that Apple might be looking to bring back Touch ID on iPhones. However, there’s a catch. The new Touch ID could be built into the display of the upcoming “budget” iPhone and this model could be exclusive to China.
According to the Chinese outlet, The Global Times, Apple is preparing to launch an affordable flagship with an in-display fingerprint scanner in China. Moreover, as the in-display fingerprint scanner can only be built into an OLED display, the budget iPhone will now also feature an OLED panel instead of an LCD panel as found on the iPhone XR.
Additionally, Apple is allegedly looking to ditch Face ID for this in-display fingerprint scanner. There were reports in 2017 that future iPhones might support the in-display biometric tech but the idea was ultimately shelved in favour Face ID.
The report goes on to say, “The new phone will reportedly remove Face ID, the facial recognition system for the iPhone, and instead employ an under-display fingerprint function, news site caijing.com.cn reported, citing sources on the upstream industry supply chain. An industry insider revealed that this is likely to "save on costs."
Apple is taking steps to cut costs on the affordable iPhone. A major component of Face ID, a structured light sensor, reportedly costs several hundred yuan, removing which could result in a price drop for the upcoming iPhone.According to the report, Apple is taking the required steps to regain Chinese users it has lost in the recent past to the likes of Huawei, Vivo and Oppo. It now holds nine percent of the Chinese smartphone market in contrast to 34 percent, 19 percent, and an 18 percent market share held by Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo, respectively.
It would be interesting to see if Apple rolls out the new “budget” flagship to other countries as well. We are expecting it to launch in India sometime after the China roll-out.
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