(Pocket-lint) - Apple will use under-display fingerprint tech to launch a more budget-orientated iPhone in China.
That's according to Chinese-based paper The Global Times who suggest that Apple could look to recover declining sales in the area by launching a country-specific device. It may also be that Apple would consider releasing it in other countries where the market is rapidly evolving such as India, as well. Could this be the long-rumoured but thought-to-be-dead iPhone SE 2?
Apple's position in China hasn't been helped by the trade war between the US and China, while the US government's earlier position on Huawei and US-requested arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada didn't help the profile of American companies in China.
Apple's sales in China is a bit of an outlier because its last iPhone sales figures were decent. But China is such a large market that Apple will want to make a success of sales there.
The move to another fingerprint tech would be unexpected but, while Face ID is excellent it is reportedly expensive to manufacture. However, any such phone launched in China would have to compete with rivals who all now have displays that cover almost the entirety of the phone. Could Apple use reinstated partner Qualcomm's under-display fingerprint tech to get around this problem?
In terms of the market as a whole, it wouldn't be an unusual move - while most smartphone manufacturers offer facial recognition in some form, they still have a backup option of a fingerprint sensor. And as we've seen in devices from OnePlus, Oppo, Huawei, Xiaomi and more, this sensor is often under the display these days.
MacRumors also points out that a report from Barclays analysts in May suggested that Apple may use acoustic fingerprint tech to have full-screen Touch ID in a new iPhone - again a mid-ranger, we'd guess.