The absurd iPhone 8 rear-mounted fingerprint sensor rumor

“It’s still about five months away from the expected launch of the 2017 iPhone,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “Some of those rumors are educated guesses, others might legitimately originate in the leaky Asian supply chain. Still others are made up out of whole cloth. Some don’t even sound reasonable.”

“So there was a published report that Apple might push the Touch ID sensor to the rear on the iPhone 8,” Steinberg writes. “On the surface, it seems absurd, and it remains absurd below the surface… It makes no sense whatever for Apple to take a feature that works as well or better than comparable features on other smartphones and move it somewhere else.”

“So where do rumors of that sort originate? It doesn’t pass the logic test, but perhaps this blatant example of fake news originated with one of Apple’s rivals, or fans of a rival smartphone,” Steinberg writes. “Now I wouldn’t presume to suggest that people who favor the Galaxy S8, with its rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, are responsible.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We wouldn’t put it past the slavish copier to drop disinformation about the next-gen iPhone in order to normalize their crappily-placed rear-side Touch ID wannabe.

As can be seen by any rational (read: unpaid) review of Samsung’s Galaxy S8, fingerprint readers on the rear are inferior for many reasons (basic ergonomics, smudging of camera lens, etc.) to Apple’s traditional placement on the front of the iPhone.MacDailyNews, April 13, 2017

No, Apple won’t move the Home button and Touch ID to the back of the ‘iPhone 8’ – April 13, 2017
Leaked iPhone 8 schematics show bezel-free, edge-to-edge display, Touch ID on rear casing – April 13, 2017


  1. This is thoroughly amusing! Truly funny and entertaining!

    Because, you know, Samsung decided to put theirs on the back, so obviously, Apple is scrambling to do it too….!

    As MDN said, you’ll struggle to find an unpaid-for review of Galaxy 8 that actually likes the sensor on the back. Even among the reviewers who have always been massive fandroids, they contort themselves explaining why Samsung had to put it in the back (some design/manufacturing/quality control issues, compounded by launch deadlines…).

    The hope is, people see that Apple will be doing the same stupid thing (sensor in the back), decide, “if that’s the case, I may well go for the Galaxy 8 now, rather than wait for iPhone 8”. I can see no more than exactly three people actually falling for that.

  2. First of all, there are a couple other phones with their power button (not Touch ID, but same idea- use it to turn on the phone) on the back. My nephew has one of these and it’s pretty cool- the idea is to relegate to dead surface area a functionality you don’t really need that often and you certainly don’t need it on the front of the phone. This frees up space for a larger screen but smaller phone. Most people do hold their phone in the their hand, so putting in an appropriate place on the back isn’t as bad as you all seem to think it is (cut outs in cases would allow for the touch ID on the back).

    Secondly, it also enables more one-handed use. Very often these days I’ll double press the home button with my right hand while holding my iPhone 6 in my left hand. Technically I could do that with my left thumb, but it’s awkward as I have to hold the phone in a way that it’s less secure in my hand. But using my left index finger on the back would work for me (allowing me the functionality while having a firm grip on the phone).

    I agree they won’t do it, but it’s probably more of a NIH reason than a functional one…

  3. Touch ID underneath has to be hardware, but can’t it be triggered via software layer, just like all the icons. A sensor could trigger the icons or the touch ID area based upon some sort of activity or action, similar to 3D touch contextual menu’s. The ID part would have to be in a specific area.
    To me, it would be cool if touch ID would be the whole area, just contextual and out of the way until needed. Or, the touch ID area would be permanent and specific, but the normal icon area could be a software layer that takes over after touch ID is enabled.

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