iPhone 8’s rumored rear-facing Touch ID is a red flag for Apple’s 10 year anniversary

This year is the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone launch, and Apple will want to mark the occasion by releasing its best iPhone ever - but the latest rumor has me worried that it won't be everything we've come to expect.

The word from an analyst at CLSA says the iPhone 8 will come with an edge-to-edge display, but the Touch ID fingerprint scanner will move to the rear of the phone to make it possible.

If that’s true, it means Apple’s touted plan to put the fingerprint scanner under the screen of the iPhone 8 won't be ready in time - a move which if it could pull off, would surely propel the handset to stardom.

It seems then, Apple may not have prepped itself enough to make the iPhone 8 the all-singing, all-dancing device some have tipped it to be.

After the lukewarm reception of the iPhone 7 – a phone that ended up being an 'iPhone 6S...S' of sorts – I'm expecting big things from the next edition, but this isn't the first sign that things may not be on track at Cupertino.

Fingers crossed

Something similar may have happened to Samsung with the Galaxy S8. Rumors suggested Samsung wanted to place the scanner under the screen, but it instead opted for the rear with reports claiming that the tech wasn't ready for the phone's launch back in March.

Moving the scanner to the back of the new iPhone won’t necessarily be a problem for users though, especially those potentially put off by negative reports of the placement of the sensor on the Galaxy S8, which may have been rushed into a tricky to reach position. 

LG, Huawei and Google have all managed to get the positioning right, and if Apple is ready to move the scanner to the back of the iPhone 8’s design I'm certain it won’t mess it up.

The fingerprint scanner on the rear of the LG G6 is easy to hit

The fingerprint scanner on the rear of the LG G6 is easy to hit

Uh oh... OLED

Another big upgrade slated for the iPhone 8 is the introduction of an OLED display. Until now, Apple has only used LCD screens on its phones, so this move would mark the company's first foray into the display tech that is common-place place on rival devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S8.

However, it seems this is something else Apple may be struggling with. Some leaks have suggested Apple is floundering in its attempts to source the screen tech it needs for the iPhone 8.

If Apple doesn't succeed on these two rumored big-ticket upgrades and the iPhone 8 doesn't have another showstopping feature it's uncertain if we'll even see a third top-end iPhone in 2017 after all.

A rumor suggesting the addition of 3D facial recognition could signal the way forward for the iPhone 8, but that's unlikely to be enough to entice some Apple fans to upgrade.

The potential bad news doesn't stop there either, as noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has highlighted another potential issue with the iPhone 8 - saying production of the special edition iPhone is two months behind schedule.

I'm not writing Apple off - even Tim Cook has begun teasing the iPhone 8 -  but the latest rumors don't look great for anyone holding out to upgrade to Apple’s next big flagship device. 

If any company can pull it around, surely it is the world's richest firm - and I'm hoping Apple does.

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.