Exclusive – Metal blanks show a fingerprint reader on the back of the phone

Leaks give an impression that Apple has tried a thousand different places to put the fingerprint reader on the iPhone 8, now that there’s no room for it on the front. The most recent leak places it in a surprising – yet familiar – location.

Metal blanks show a round hole just under the Apple logo – clearly meant for the fingerprint reader. The metal blanks we saw earlier were in a rough shape and lacked such detail.

Metal blanks (allegedly) of the iPhone 8 frame, showing a rear fingerprint reader
Two glass panels from the iPhone 8’s back showed no such hole.

Actually, glass backs are incompatible with this all-metal frame at all! And case makers have not mentioned anything of the sort either, that’s an important detail they would have to know (lest they cover it, making it unusable).

So, for now we think that the authenticity of this leak is questionable. Still, a round fingerprint reader on the back is what most Android makers are doing – can a large Power key be a better place? Under the screen would be ideal, but many sources question the technical possibility of that.

However, a number of leaks reported that instead of the Touch ID, Apple will use the new face detection function in the new flagship . What do you think?

The ever reliable 9to5Mac has obtained a new report from J.P. Morgan which states the iPhone 8 will be both significantly more expensive than any previous iPhone and it will also be available in more limited quantities at launch.

JP. Morgan analyst Rod Hall explains that it expects “a small amount of late September EMS output… then ramping up production through October with target output levels achieved in late October/early November.”

The impact? Hall expects Apple to ship 7.3M fewer iPhones than its previous estimate of 49.5M for Q4. Given this figure includes all three new iPhones and the iPhone 8 is expected to account for approximately 50% of that its a unit reduction of almost 30%. Hall says this hit almost all comes in September as its drops iPhone 8 stock from 9M units to circa 2M.

So while supply of new iPhones is always tight after launch, getting hold of an iPhone 8 this year is likely to bring a whole new level of hurt.

Hall says Apple will start iPhone 8 pricing from $1,100 as “production costs are slightly higher than we had originally anticipated”. This would be $450 more than an entry level iPhone 7 ($649) and $330 more than an entry level iPhone 7 Plus ($769).

Painful? Be grateful for small mercies. Some reports claim iPhone 8 pricing could be as high as $1,400. Though if there are three storage options as normal, that might not be far out. Meanwhile prices on eBay are likely to be 2-5x higher.

Still with rumours growing that Apple has been unable to integrate Touch ID into the iPhone 8’s display (smart alternatives do exist), some might argue the company is biting off more than it can chew. But this is where Samsung looks set to do Apple a solid as it has definitely failed to integrate a fingerprint sensor into the Galaxy Note 8 and is also charging the earth.

Could Google’s gorgeous Pixel 2 XL may swoop in to woo unsettled Apple and Samsung fans? I doubt it, Google has no track record of being able to deliver units in quantity. As such – while J.P. Morgan’s news may be disappointing – I suspect come the end of 2017 Apple and the iPhone 8 will still have cleaned up…

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