A tech analyst has predicted that the next flagship iPhone may not have a fingerprint sensor due to technical issues and delays.
Pacific Crest Securities' analyst Andy Hargreaves said issues building a fingerprint reader into the display have been part of the problem.
"Checks with suppliers suggest Apple is struggling with optical fingerprint functionality, which could lead to delays in supply of the coming OLED iPhone or elimination of fingerprint sensing in the OLED iPhone in favor of a biometric login that relies exclusively on 3D sensing," Hargreaves said in his note to investors. "While this creates some risk of production delays, at this point we do not believe it materially threatens volume through the coming iPhone cycle."
Several reports have suggested that Apple's high-end iPhone may face delays, but this is the first that suggests it may actually eliminate a fingerprint sensor altogether. The 3D sensor mentioned in the report could refer to new iris or face scanning biometrics, which have been rumored for Apple's iPhone 8.
"We believe Apple continues to work on solving its optical fingerprint issues," Hargreaves continued. "If it is able to solve the problems in the next month or so, it would likely place volume orders at that point. This would likely lead to a delay of the OLED iPhone launch, but we would not expect it to meaningfully affect volume for the cycle."