Slight iPhone 12 delay seems pretty much confirmed, 5G models could get in-display Touch ID

Slight iPhone 12 delay seems pretty much confirmed, 5G models could get in-display Touch ID
You didn't really think the iPhone 12 delay saga was already over, now, did you? After all, we're still roughly five months away from the most optimistic launch scenario, and it remains impossible to predict how the coronavirus pandemic might unfold during this time and to what degree it will continue to impact the mobile industry.

But while analysts, pundits, and rumormongers can't seem to agree on a specific release timeline with so many question marks floating around the development and production of Apple's next-gen iPhones, one thing is essentially etched in stone. The Cupertino-based tech giant, like every other major (and minor) handset vendor, is struggling to keep its manufacturing and sales numbers close to normal.

As bad as the production situation would get, it's highly unlikely that the iPhone 12 lineup will be pushed back to 2021, with a significantly shorter delay bandied about of late and reiterated in a new Wall Street Journal report. Unfortunately, this doesn't go into much detail regarding the features of Apple's four upcoming high-end handsets, but a separate report from Taiwan (translated here) tackles one technology many insiders don't expect to be integrated in 2020.

Could the iPhone 12 family go on sale in early November?

We can't think of many sources more reliable than the "people familiar with Apple's plans" routinely used by the WSJ to verify speculation originating from other publications, tipsters, and leakers. Hence, you can probably bet the farm on a delay of "about a month" being the company's current intention for the "production ramp-up of its flagship iPhones coming later this year."

Of course, there's still plenty of time for that plan to change, with mass production typically ramped up in the "early summer" ahead of a normal September release of a new iPhone generation and inventory build-up "around August." Assuming the ongoing global health crisis will allow Apple to stick to its current schedule, we could see the iPhone 12 quartet commercially rolled out around the world sometime in late October or early November.

That doesn't completely rule out the possibility of a September announcement, mind you, similar to how the iPhone X was unveiled almost two months ahead of its actual market debut in 2017. Apple could also release one or two models early in limited units, although it's hard to anticipate which of the four main variants might be prioritized in such a scenario.

The Wall Street Journal, by the way, reconfirms the screen sizes (ranging from 5.4 to 6.7 inches) and OLED technology of the four "new iPhone models" scheduled for a release "later this year" while vaguely mentioning "some of these" will support 5G connectivity.

Is fingerprint recognition still on the table?

After reviving the conventional Touch ID fingerprint sensor for the budget-friendly iPhone SE (2020), Apple is once again rumored to be working on modernizing the biometric recognition feature. Different variations of this speculation have made the rounds numerous times before, but the rumor mill appeared to settle on a more distant integration of the in-display fingerprint authentication technology.

That's not what supply chain sources quoted by the Economic Daily News expect, as Apple is reportedly "sprinting" towards the release of 5G iPhones with ultrasonic fingerprint recognition in the "second half of the year." Yes, this year, as the company fears consumers will be reluctant to pay a premium for the new 5G-enabled models in the absence of other "highlights" and meaningful improvements over 2019's iPhone 11 lineup.

Obviously, Apple has no intention to leave Face ID behind, so if Touch ID were to be embedded into the OLED screen of one or several iPhone 12 variants, these would undoubtedly use both features for maximum convenience, versatility, and security. 

Unfortunately, the Qualcomm-supplied ultrasonic technology Apple is rumored to use on its first 5G iPhones doesn't exactly excel in terms of accuracy on many Android handsets that are already equipped with under-display fingerprint scanners. Then again, the iPhone 12 could adopt a brand-new and vastly improved solution, although if you ask us, a delay until 2021 still seems significantly more plausible.

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