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“We believe it is leaning toward facial recognition technology rather than iris recognition. However, we note that the technical challenges of facial recognition include: (1) algorithms; (2) hardware design; and (3) the build-out of a database for verification and authentication, which could be time-consuming. As such, before Apple can fully replace the fingerprint system with facial recognition, a combination of the two steps of bio-recognition could be a valid solution for enhancing transactions security”.

Apple is expected to announce 3 iPhone models this year. The 3rd unit is expected to pack in a 5.8-inch display and will be a radical redesign with exotic technologies. Tagged as ‘Ferrari’, the 10th anniversary iPhone is expected to feature an OLED display that stretches from edge to edge, a glass body (with wireless charging) and include new facial recognition features. Going by the current rumors the device is also expected to be the platform to kickstart Apple’s augmented reality (AR) applications.

To date, Apple’s Touch ID Home Button has existed in two versions: the original sensor which debuted with iPhone 5s and a 2x faster second generation sensor included since the iPhone 6s. Independent reports about the next major iPhone, coming in the fall, claim that Apple will integrate the Home Button into the screen to reduce the bezels on the front.

Some form of face recognition technology has also been rumored to be part of the iPhone 8 tentpole features. KGI says that Apple is leaning towards full-face recognition rather than biometric iris recognition. Eventually, the firm believes Apple will rely solely on face recognition for authentication and unlock, eliminating the Touch ID sensor entirely. The timeline for this is not clear and again seems to be far in the future.

For the time being, KGI says Apple will rely on a combination of fingerprint and face detection sensors, rather than fully supplanting the latter with the former. It’s worth noting the report does not tie its commentary with any particular Apple product, so even if other rumors are swirling about face recognition for iPhone 8, KGI is not necessarily endorsing that sentiment at this stage.