Ever since Face ID was introduced with the iPhone X, Apple has been phasing out the use of the Home button and Touch ID on its handsets. While it’s still present on some iPads, only the low-cost iPhone SE still uses fingerprints for authentication, but it looks like the feature will be coming back for next year’s flagship iPhone 14 smartphone.
In a Q&A on iDrop News (opens in new tab), the leaker LeaksApplePro stated that Apple is indeed testing an under-screen fingerprint reader for the iPhone 14, something that rival Samsung has offered since 2019’s Galaxy S10.
- Best iPhone: iPhone models compared and rated
- iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13: what are the differences?
- PLUS: GTA Trilogy remaster releases today, here's why I'm playing on Nintendo Switch
But for Apple, if it does indeed appear, it will apparently be a premium feature, destined for only the Pro model. “I can tell you that this feature has been dropped from the regular 14 series,” the leaker wrote. “However, it’s still being tested to be included in the Pro lineup next year under the display, though it’s unclear if we will end up seeing it.”
It’s unlikely that Apple would drop Face ID, which generally has been a big success story for the company. But in an age where face masks are still in common use, having a backup way of logging in would certainly be welcome, for those who aren’t automatically signed in via their Apple Watch (opens in new tab).
Elsewhere in the Q&A, AppleLeaksPro also confirmed what has seemed likely for a long time: the iPhone mini isn’t long for this world.
“There’s definitely no chance [of there being an iPhone 14 mini], as next year’s iPhone lineup will consist of two 6.1-inch and two 6.7-inch devices,” the leaker wrote. “The mini version is not selling very well and is not as profitable for Apple as the other sizes. Therefore, it has been decided that the iPhone 13 will be the last mini-sized model.”
That’s potentially a bit harsh on the iPhone 13 mini, as this decision will have been reached based on sales performance of the iPhone 12 mini, which was released at a time when much of the world was working from home, and thus favouring screen size over portability. Add in the battery limitations of the 2020 series of iPhones, and you could argue that last year’s mini was always going to struggle.
Hopefully the iPhone SE 3 will be along shortly to provide a small screen alternative for those left disappointed.