Apple could introduce a new iPhone geared for the China market and this one might come with an in-display fingerprint sensor with no Face ID feature. This comes after a report on The Global Times, which is quoting another China-based website called caijing.com.cn. The latter’s report is based on industry supply chain sources.
Apple has declined to comment to Global Times. The report claims this is being done exclusively for the China market, where the company is facing a decline in sales. The report also claims Apple is doing this change to save costs, because the Face ID with its structured light laser emitter costs a lot more compared to the in-display fingerprint sensor.
No Face ID at the front would not just mean hardware changes, but also design and software changes to the iPhone and mark the return of Touch ID. Apple has not yet introduced an in-display fingerprint scanner on any of its phones, since the Face ID feature was launched with iPhone X in 2017.
The notch on the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR is because of the front facing Face ID camera and its expansive setup. With this gone, as the report claims, the display of the iPhone in China would look very different.
The report should be taken with a pinch of salt, considering Apple has uniform products across the world. However, it did introduce the physical dual-SIM option only for China with the iPhone XS series, while the rest of the world got dual-SIM, but with an e-SIM option. But that was only because China does not allow e-SIMs.
The report also goes on to add that it is not clear when this new iPhone model will launched and “this could be a preliminary plan.” Apple is expected to introduce the new iPhone 11 or iPhone XI in September 2019, which will have the a triple camera system. The iPhone XR successor or iPhone XR 2 as some reports have called it will get a dual-camera at the back.
The Global Times report also quotes data to show how Apple has fallen in the crucial China market with just 9 per cent market share, well below players like Huawei, vivo, OPPO and Xiaomi. These numbers are based on Counterpoint research. The high prices of the iPhone XS series in China have not helped its cause and as the report speculates, the lack of Face ID could result in lower prices for this China-specific iPhone.