Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is one of the most quoted analysts for predicting future Apple products or features. Kuo was briefly a Digitimes analyst and one analysis on his predictions record by Philip Elmer-DeWitt, scored his accuracy at about 44%. Yet however you view Kuo's predictions, he continues to barrel ahead with bold predictions and his latest one came to light yesterday. Unfortunately this time around Kou is using a lot of blind speculation.
Apple moving Touch ID to beneath an iDevice display has been long in the making. A 2013 patent filing came to light in 2015 in our patent application report titled "Apple Introduces an Alternative Touch ID Method using Full-Display Fingerprint Sensors."
Another key patent on this came to light last summer stating that "The electronic device may also include a finger biometric sensor carried by the touch display and that includes a finger biometric sensing layer that includes an array of transparent conductive finger biometric sensing pixels capacitively coupled to the at least one transparent conductive layer of the touch display." Other patents on this could found in our archives.
KGI's analyst reports that Apple is likely to shift Touch ID to the display for the anniversary iPhone which has been rumored and speculated long ago. Kuo points to Apple's Touch ID using an optical-type system which Apple first mentioned back in 2015. Apple noted that "Photodiodes can be any type of fingerprint reader such as, but not limited to, optical finger print readers or thermal finger print readers.
Then instead of predicting, Kuo goes patent hunting to talk about Apple Touch ID ultimately moving to advanced facial recognition. Apple a number of patents on this with two in particular that are in-depth (one and two). However, Touch ID is tightly integrated in with Apple Pay that's used on Apple Watch and facial recognition could never replace Touch ID.
It's starting to look like Kuo likes the fame of being a predictor of Apple features and is ramping up his speculation rather than getting insider information which he's relatively good at.
While Patently Apple has faithful covered Apple's IP filings every week of the year for years now, trying to use a crystal ball to forecast when their new inventions will come to market is not reliable, even if your name is Kuo.
Apple's inventions fill us in on areas of technologies that Apple is interested in and at times they provide us with clear trends that are forming. When Apple introduces new features, Patently Apple tries to match them up to patents that were filed to inform you that a patent has been fulfilled. Forecasting time to market, on the other other hand, is simply wild speculation at best. To review more of Kou's rumors, click here.