Apple has reportedly given up trying to put Touch ID in the iPhone 8 display

It's been one of the longest-running rumor sagas of the summer: will Apple manage to work out how to embed its fingerprint-scanning tech under the screen of the iPhone 8, or will it have to end up putting a sensor on the back like everyone else?

Well, as September rapidly approaches, it looks like Apple has run out of time to get the under-glass option ready. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the better-connected analysts out there, says Apple is abandoning the idea until next year.

That's according to an investor note seen by AppleInsider, though it's not clear exactly when Apple decided to admit defeat on getting Touch ID embedded under the screen - there has been talk that the iPhone 8 could use a small pinhole or thinned glass to get the technology working through layers of glass.

Spot the fingerprint sensor

We're still in the dark as to where the iPhone 8 fingerprint sensor is going to reside though: one patent that came to light in June suggests it's going to be embedded into the power button, which would save a lot of reaching around the back of the device.

Having a fingerprint sensor around the back of a phone isn't a disaster of course - it's been standard for years - but it does mean you need to pick up the phone to unlock it in this way. As we've seen with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, positioning is crucial as well.

It now looks very likely that Apple is going to use face recognition as an alternative to Touch ID, wherever the fingerprint sensor happens to end up - references to 3D face-scanning technology have been spotted in the HomePod firmware, so just a glance would be enough to unlock your phone.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.