A new Apple patent brings a major iPhone 8 rumor closer to reality


We've heard countless far-fetched rumors about the upcoming iPhone 8, but few have been as prevalent as the one claiming Apple is getting rid of the standalone fingerprint scanner and embedding it into the screen itself. While that sounds exactly like the type of thing tech journalists make up to increase their viewership, a patent application granted to the company today seemingly confirms the existence of such technology.

After its acquisition of LuxVue, a pioneer of the so-called micro-LED technology, Apple inherited a trove of intellectual property, including methods for the manufacturing of thin flexible screens, which are expected to be integrated into the next iteration of the Apple Watch. Today's patent, too, was a part of the IP transfer, and details a screen with infrared light emitters and sensors interwoven with regular RGB diodes, allowing for high-resolution touch sensing strong enough to enable the reading of fingerprints.


This comes at an interesting time for the company, as at least one of this year's upcoming models is expected to switch to OLED screens, and rumors have been floating around for a while about Apple's desire to ditch Touch ID. Do note, however, that the patent means next to nothing unless the company has the ability to actually manufacture the technology detailed inside, so take everything with a pinch of salt.

This isn't the only possible method of achieving the rumored built-in fingerprint sensor, though, and Apple actually has another patent describing a similar technology, based on putting a sensor behind the screen which reads through gaps in space. Today's listing, however, is much more detailed and thus somewhat more plausible. Other alternatives exist, too – namely, Qualcomm's Sense ID, which utilizes ultrasonic waves instead.

As for other rumors, there are plenty - the upcoming iPhone 8 is expected to come in several variants, just like its predecessors, and is said to feature wide-range wireless chargingan 'edge to edge' display, tap-to-wake functionality, a bigger battery, and more. The official unveiling, however, is still far ahead in the future, so details are, as always, subject to change.

source: USPTO via AppleInsider

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35 Comments

1. dubaiboy78

Posts: 442; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

wtf how many rumor news do you need for iphone8 iphonearena!!!!

2. Dejan92

Posts: 141; Member since: Feb 06, 2014

And next iPhone isn't even iPhone 8, it's 7s.

9. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

It's going to be both, Apple knows how to make money and starving their customers with 3 years of ugly phones will probably push them into making an easy purchase if they release an "all new" iPhone 8.

26. sissy246

Posts: 7070; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Some rumors have said it's going to be a 7s, But who knows, it's all rumors. It may be a 7s or a 8. The rumor I find hard to believe is the iphone 8X. I just don't see apple doing 3 phones. But time will tell and I know it's JMO

6. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Around 100+ articles, I guess. I tried counting last year and I got lost at 25.

15. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Okay, so what's the patent to implementing the patent in the device ratio here? Doesn't it take like years to bring it to life? How can PA be so sure it's dealing with the 8?

28. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

a patent gets filed months ahead then once it's approved it gets released. But to get a patent you have to have some sort of proof that you have such things in the making.

19. Unordinary unregistered

the less competitors innovate, the more rumor news comes out.

27. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Nice joke.

23. mikehunta727 unregistered

What do you expect? it's the best selling individual smartphone in the whole world yearly, it is a very popular device hence the rumors that get posted on here.quit being a cry baby and don't give PA the read if you don't wanna read the article

31. yyzamin

Posts: 382; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

haters gonna hate

3. Diego!

Posts: 867; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

That concept looks A LOT like a Samsung Galaxy phone. Who is copying who now, huh?

4. IonoU

Posts: 11; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

Maybe because apple hogging all the Oled panel from Samsung?

29. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

wat? lol samsung is making their screens

8. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

That's a concept render, ever seen one before? It's not from Apple and if history is anything to go by will be nothing like the actual phone.

24. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Yeah, but that said reading lightly over pattern basically they are adding a subpixels for the ir handling, and that is going to affect total pixel density if its done across full screen, seems....at best impractical. Can it be made? probably, but considering the amount of IR information that is floating around just generally, accuracy is, at least initially going to be really poor.

13. AlikMalix unregistered

Probably same artist making both concepts. Apple has not announced anything about the next iPhone. They could just make it a triangle and they wouldn't have misled anyone yet - EVERYHING YOU SEE SO FAR IS/WAS A RUMOR MADE UP BY TECH SITES AND SPECILATORS. GROW UP!

22. sissy246

Posts: 7070; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Agree I don't understand taking these rumors at heart.

14. Nopers unregistered

Lol. Because that concept is 100% reflective of what Apple will release and isn't just a concept artist who was inspired by Samsung design, I mean that concept has been around for over a year now (originally an iPhone 7 concept). In my opinion though it has more Apple design accents than Samsung design, namely the fact it's a sensible rectangle shape whereas Galaxy S phones are almost ovals.

32. yyzamin

Posts: 382; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Haters gonna hate

5. Khyron

Posts: 397; Member since: Sep 28, 2015

rumors rumors rumors I expect the same boring design with an oled display

7. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Gaps in space? Like wormholes?

10. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

apple get patent and you actually believe they'll use it right away? keep dreaming, lol... usually it'll take forever for them to use their imaginary patent, since they'll need to wait others manufacturers to figure out how to actually make that tech and then buy that part from them

16. RasacL

Posts: 18; Member since: Jan 27, 2017

Buy? What's that? SUE THEM

11. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1817; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

Where will Apple put the fingerprint scanner if they do plan on going with a all front display? They definitely can't put it on the back and have your fingers cover up the logo... Hell... Most cases had the hole cut out where the logo resided...

12. AlikMalix unregistered

Deleted

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I think Apple is about to kill it, with the iPhone 8.

18. AlikMalix unregistered

But it'll be moot if they do it while raising the price (if rumors are true).

21. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Depends on how much.

20. ameran

Posts: 344; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Dream on.

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