Apple's forthcoming flagship 'iPhone 8' is expected to replace the existing Touch ID feature with Facial Recognition technology, according to MacRumors quoting analyst Rod Hall of JPMorgan. The report suggests Apple is planning to remove the Home button on its next iPhone in its bid to create the first edge-to-edge display.
Although the switch to facial recognition would invariably attract more traders and banks to adopt Apple Pay, it would incur higher production costs for Apple. The cost of implementing a 3D laser scanner is estimated at $15 per unit for Apple while the addition of new stainless steel with glass design, wireless charging, and power-efficient OLED display, would increase the handset's production cost by another $100, as reported by Hall.
If Hall's theory turns out true, we might indeed see the iPhone 8's selling price going upwards of $1000 at the time of its launch.
Hall's research note further indicates that the 3D laser scanner may also find its use in the highly-advanced world of Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality. Here are some excerpts from his research analysis:
One obvious and potentially most compelling use would be AR/VR experiences in which the user's hands and other real world objects are being scanned and integrated into a field of view provided by the iPhone mounted into a Google Daydream-like headset. This would open up many interesting entertainment and gaming experiences not available today and might give Apple something extra in an AR/VR accessory compared to Google and others.
As far as release window is concerned, the iPhone 8 is tipped for an early announcement on 5 June at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Nevertheless, it is worth noting that Apple has never made any hardware announcements at WWDC in the last seven years.