A new report from Bloomberg suggests that Apple won’t be looking to reinvent the wheel with this year’s iPhone but is currently testing one important feature; an in-screen fingerprint reader that would finally pave the way for integrated Touch ID experience.

Interestingly, the article states that Apple is investing a lot of time, resources, and money into designing and prototyping a foldable device that will allow the company to compete with others who are also working on similar products.

Perhaps contrastingly, it seems that the same level of resources aren’t being applied to the 2021 iPhone, with Apple’s engineers referring to the device using the “S” nomenclature:

Apple isn’t planning major changes for this year’s iPhone line given the enhancements made to the smartphone in 2020, including 5G and new designs, according to people familiar with the situation. Inside Apple, engineers consider the next iPhones another “S” version of the device, the nomenclature typically given to new iPhones with minor upgrades.

If Apple does release the “iPhone 12S” this year, then it’s likely we can expect a device that features the same design aesthetic and very few overall changes. With that said, the article does suggest that Tim Cook’s engineers are working on technology that would allow them to place a Touch ID sensor under the display.

This would allow Apple to ship a buttonless iPhone with access to Face ID and Touch ID, much to the delight of a lot of people who would rather have a fingerprint-based experience:

Though overall changes will be minor, Apple is still testing a key upgrade for 2021: an in-screen fingerprint reader. This would add a new method for users to unlock their iPhone, going beyond a passcode and Face ID facial recognition.

As a sidenote, Bloomberg, and others, are still beating the AirTags drum, suggesting that Apple is still on track to release the Bluetooth-based tags at some point this year. To us, this product feels a lot like the ill-fated AirPower, so we will believe it when we ultimately see it on the shelves.

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