Next iPhone to offer in-screen Touch ID; may be called iPhone 12S

Next iPhone to offer in-screen Touch ID; may be called iPhone 12S
Apple may have started work on a foldable iPhone, but the Tim Cook-led company is still very much focused on introducing its next-generation iPhone 13 and iPad products in the coming months.

The next iPhone will offer in-screen Touch ID

The iPhone 12 line offered a series of important upgrades including 5G support and an updated design language. However, the next iPhone series is unlikely to match that level of change, as reported by Bloomberg

Engineers inside Apple consider the 2021 iPhone lineup to be another “S” version because there will be only minor hardware upgrades. This can be partially attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has complicated the product development cycle and forced Apple to offload some work to engineers based in China.

Nevertheless, Apple still has some new features in the works for its next iPhones. The one that could interest people the most is the return of Touch ID, albeit in a more modern format.

The biometric sensor was removed from high-end iPhones in 2017 but Apple is now planning a re-introduction in 2021 with the help of in-screen tech. Qualcomm, which announced a much larger ultrasonic sensor recently, could be the supplier.

This feature is standard across most modern Android phones but it may be met with open arms by Apple customers. While many customers still prefer Face ID, the latter has become less useful in a world full of mask wearers.

The next-gen Touch ID won’t affect Apple’s commitment to Face ID either. Instead, both biometric unlock systems will sit alongside each other on the 2021 iPhones.

Apple's iPhone 12S may ditch the charging port

The other important change potentially coming to the iPhone in 2021 is the removal of the Lightning port. Some have suggested Apple replace it with a USB-C port, as it has done on high-end iPad Pro models, but a complete switch to wireless charging is favored.

This decision isn’t final, although analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously stated that Apple only plans to remove the charging port from its 6.7-inch iPhone Pro Max model in 2021, so the cheaper devices could still offer a Lightning connector.

The move will allow Apple to push its new MagSafe charging system, which connects magnetically to the back of the iPhone 12 series and takes advantage of wireless charging tech.

Considering these minimal changes and the fact that engineers referred to 2021 iPhone range as an “S” generation, there’s a very strong chance that Apple will release its next devices under the ‘iPhone 12S’ branding rather than ‘iPhone 13.’

A mini-LED iPad Pro and a new budget iPad are on the way

In addition to the iPhone 12S line, Apple is preparing both a new iPad Pro and a new entry-level iPad. The former leaked earlier today and is expected to add a mini-LED display and a much faster A14X Bionic chipset.

The budget iPad, on the other hand, will use the same design as the 2019 iPad Air. That means customers can expect a larger 10.5-inch display surrounded by thick bezels and a physical Touch ID home button.

Apple is also set to release AirTags in 2021. These are small Tile-like tracking tags that use Ultra Wideband tech to accurately track items such as your wallet or backpack.

AirTags were originally meant to arrive in 2020 but were reportedly delayed due to the pandemic. Once available, Apple will offer a series of official accessories including a leather keychain.

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