Apple plans to ditch home button in favour of Face ID on new iPad
New facial recognition software is proving a hit for Apple.
Apple’s new 2018 iPad will reportedly abandon the home button in favour of Face ID, a feature that made its debut on the iPhone X earlier this month.
It is unlikely to have the new OLED display – which provides brighter colours and a sharper image which is a feature of the new iPhone X – but may have narrower bezels on the sides and top and bottom of the screen to create a slate that’s almost entirely display.
The information is not yet public, but according to Bloomberg, the redesigned, high-end iPad could be released as early as next year, a little more than 12 months after the last major iPad Pro upgrade.
At least one new iPad model with a screen size similar to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will include Face ID for unlocking the device, making payments, and sending animated emojis. This would replace the iPad home button that has come with a fingerprint scanner since 2014, Yahoo Finance reports.
The iPad had been Apple’s second-largest product line as recently as 2015, but global sales have declined dramatically (17%) over the past three years.
Now, however, it appears to be making a comeback. The California-based Cupertino Company reported last week that iPad revenue rose 14% to US$4.8 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, with an 11% increase in the number of units sold.
Apple last updated the device in June by adding a 10.5-inch screen size option to the iPad Pro and a ProMotion screen that makes switching between tasks smoother. Earlier this year it released a cheaper version priced at US$329 to boost sales.
Face ID, the iPhone X’s main new feature coming to the next iPad, lets users unlock the device with their face and a glance of their eyes instead of a password or fingerprint. It also allows for payment authentication and sending Animojis – an animated emoji based on a user’s facial expressions and speech.
Apple shares rose to a record high last Friday after the launch of the iPhone X – jumping as much as 3.7% and briefly breaching US$900 billion in market value. A blowout fourth quarter and upbeat forecast for iPhone X added nearly US$32 billion to Apple’s market capitalization, the Daily Mail reports.
The glass-and-steel phone appeared to have brought back the frenzy associated with iPhone launches – long lines formed outside Apple stores across the world as fans flocked to buy the new phone. The company will make 30 million iPhone X units during the current quarter, Nomura Instinet analysts estimated.