Apple reportedly backtracks on Touch Bar, Touch ID

Apple's Touch Bar and Touch ID features are reportedly on the way out.
Image: Unsplash | Tirza van Dijk

Apple has a reputation for sticking to the decisions it makes. Whether that be a new feature it rolls out or a change to its pricing, the company doesn’t typically revert back to an older way of doing things—even if consumers ask for it. Now, rumblings from within the Apple rumor mill suggest that the tech giant could be changing course, according to Digital Trends.

Apple is supposedly moving away from both the Touch Bar and Touch ID with its upcoming Mac and iPhone models respectively. The rumors come from both fringe sites and credible leakers alike, meaning that there is likely some gravity to the situation.

At this point, it’s unclear why Apple is moving away from the tech it spent years developing. It will be interesting to see how consumers respond and what the company’s upcoming devices actually look like once they arrive.

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Touch Bar Reckoning

When Apple first introduced the Touch Bar on its Macs, consumers were wowed. Although it didn’t add much functionality beyond a normal row of function keys, it was clear that the tech had potential. Apple has added new features to the Touch Bar over the past few years but it still isn’t a revolutionary part of its Macs. Rather, it is a flashy feature that makes them stand out from other laptops on the market (yes, very Apple).

That could be why the Touch Bar is reportedly going away when the next MacBook Pro arrives later this year. Two credible Apple leakers, industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, confirmed the rumors, Digital Trends notes.

Kuo claims that the upcoming MacBook Pro will see the reintroduction of physical function keys at the top of its keyboard. Although Gurman wasn’t sure at first, he also confirmed that the Touch Bar’s final days are imminent.

It will be interesting to see whether or not this comes to fruition later this year. There’s a slim chance that Apple will ditch the Touch Bar all at once. However, the more likely scenario is that it will slowly transition away from the tech by offering models with and without it.

To Look or To Touch?

The last few years have seen Apple go all-in on security. To that end, the company claims that its Face ID is one of the most secure phone locking systems on the market. While it has hit a hiccup due to pandemic-related mask wearing, Face ID isn’t going away.

Rumors have been circulating that Apple is getting close to finishing an under-display fingerprint reader that will breathe new life into Touch ID.

Digital Trend’s Alex Blake argues that Touch ID isn’t coming back to Apple’s flagship phones. The tech simply can’t compete with Face ID from a security standpoint. Bringing back Touch ID would, in essence, be taking a step backward. Apple has put too much of its reputation on the line by promoting the security of its devices to make such a move.

Even so, it will be interesting to see how the tech giant responds in the coming year. The iPhone 12 is doing well thanks to the introduction of 5G. However, Apple will need to wow consumers with its next device to convince them to upgrade.


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