According to Gurman, Apple ultimately plans on transitioning all of its products, including lower-end devices like the iPhone SE and iPad Air, to Face ID. Gurman noted that Face ID offers both security and augmented reality functionality, as opposed to Touch ID which, although more convenient, only provides the former.
While there have been rumours of Apple working on Face ID for the Mac going as far back as 2018, porting the face recognition technology over to the Mac doesn’t come without its challenges. For starters, MacBook screens are substantially slimmer than an iPhone or iPad, which makes it much harder to fit the depth sensors required by Face ID.
In the newsletter, Gurman says:
It won’t happen this year, but I’d bet Face ID on the Mac is coming within a couple of years. I expect all iPhones and iPads to transition to Face ID within that timeframe, too. Eventually, a camera embedded in the screen would help differentiate Apple’s pricier devices by eliminating the notch at the top. The facial recognition sensor gives Apple two central features: security and augmented reality. Touch ID, more convenient or not, only provides the former.
Gurman previously reported that Apple wanted to bring Face ID to the Mac with the recently launched 24-inch iMac with Apple Silicon, but the iPhone maker had to delay the feature to an upcoming iMac redesign instead. Gurman is, of course, talking about the Apple Silicon-toting 27-inch iMac replacement that Apple is still working on and may launch later this year.
Gurman says Apple is working on eventually implementing an under-display Face ID system on the iPhone, eliminating the front notch altogether. Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported back in April that such an iPhone may debut as early as 2023.
Touch ID on lower-end devices, which currently serves as a “cheaper alternative” to Face ID, may end up being replaced with Face ID, but with a notch.