iPhone Face Unlock, Extended Screen All But Confirmed In HomePod Firmware

Images and code in firmware for the new Siri-powered HomePod speaker appear to have revealed more secrets of the all-new iPhone, expected to arrive later this year.

An image all but confirms the design of the screen - which wraps around the speaker and sensors at the top of the screen - whilst code in the firmware suggests that Apple is ready to follow Microsoft and Samsung in using face unlock with IR based scanning. In this case it uses facial recognition rather than Iris recognition, but the net effect is the same.

What hasn't been answered is what happens to the Touch ID sensor. Given the requirement to touch the sensor during an Apple Pay transaction I think we can be confident that it will be somewhere on the new iPhone, but currently there are rumours which point to it being rear mounted, embedded in the power button or beneath the new screen.

With the new iPhone likely to be in highest demand - the iPhone 7S is going to be a harder device to justify given that it will be a second-class citizen right from the get go - Apple needs to deliver something which it can manufacture at volume reliably. That will ultimately force the decision on the last completely unknown item on the next iPhone spec sheet.


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