KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back once again, this time with a new research note outlining what we can potentially expect from Apple’s 2017 iPhone, or iPhone 8 as some parties are already looking to call it.

Apple’s next-generation iPhone is expected to look vastly different from what we currently have, but Kuo is suggesting that the company is investing in new identification and authentication technology, as well as working on introducing a new physical design with what will ultimately be the underlying structure for the new flexible OLED display.

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Perhaps the most exciting part is the suggestion that Apple is looking to develop a new form of Touch ID technology that would allow iPhone 8 to feature a full-screen, zero-bezel design with an integrated flexible OLED panel.

The current method of utilizing Touch ID wouldn’t be suitable for this type of design, therefore forcing Apple’s hand in trying to come up with a different solution, which would more than likely come in the form of an “under panel” placement. Kuo also believes that the new Touch ID implementation might ultimately be replaced by a facial detection system, but that the two could work together in the first instance to provide more robust authentication:

Judging by the bio-recognition patents that Apple has applied for, we believe it is leaning toward facial recognition technology rather than iris recognition. However, we note that the technical challenges of facial recognition include: (1) algorithms; (2) hardware design; and (3) the build-out of a database for verification and authentication, which could be time consuming. As such, before Apple can fully replace the fingerprint system with facial recognition, a combination of the two steps of bio-recognition could be a valid solution for enhancing transactions security.

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It’s all exciting predictions considering we’ve been waiting for a radical redesign of iPhone for a number of years now. The new underlying shell of iPhone 8 should allow for an embedded flexible OLED display with Apple finally making the move from LCD panels to the more energy-efficient OLED alternative.

When you put those predictions in place, we should welcome in a new “10th Anniversary iPhone” which has a beautiful edge-to-edge display, a stunning glass body, and hopefully advanced biometric features that should work together to make iPhone one of the most secure devices yet.

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