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Apple: iPhone X was never getting a fingerprint reader

Apple spent "no time" trying to get TouchID on the back, sides or screen.

Unlocking the iPhone X has always been about your face, not your fingerprints.

That's what Apple SVP of hardware engineering Dan Riccio told TechCrunch in an interview, denying that Apple had looked into placing the fingerprint reader within the iPhone X's screen or on its back.

Earlier rumors and reports noted that Apple had ditched Touch ID after early experiments embedding it into the display didn't work. 

Other rumors would have us believe that Apple would put a fingerprint sensor on the back of the iPhone, or looked into alternative Touch ID methods.

Here's Riccio's insistence that Apple had given up on Touch ID in favor of the face-scanning Face ID early on, reported by TechCrunch:

"Arguably the toughest challenge that we had is to replace Touch ID," Apple's Dan Riccio says. "It was very, very hard. If we were going to replace it we wanted to replace it with something that was at the end of the day both better and more natural."

Riccio also flatly counters the narrative that Apple was still trying to use Touch ID in the iPhone X this year.

"I heard some rumor [that] we couldn't get Touch ID to work through the glass so we had to remove that," Riccio says, answering a question about whether there were late design changes. 

"When we hit early line of sight on getting Face ID to be [as] good as it was, we knew that if we could be successful we could enable the product that we wanted to go off and do and if that's true it could be something that we could burn the bridges and be all in with. This is assuming it was a better solution. And that's what we did. So we spent no time looking at fingerprints on the back or through the glass or on the side because if we did those things, which would be a last-minute change, they would be a distraction relative to enabling the more important thing that we were trying to achieve, which was Face ID done in a high-quality way."

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Face ID has been controversial from the start, kicking up questions about its security and practicality. While the iPhone 8 an 8 Plus still have the home button with Touch ID, the new facial recognition tech points out the direction in which Apple is headed. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Face ID may come to all 2018 iPhones as well as the iPad Pro.

It seems that Face ID is here to stay.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.