2021 iPhone in-screen Touch ID tipped as Apple tests foldables

A new leak has dropped a number of details on Apple's alleged upcoming plans for its iPhone and iPad products, not the least of which is a possible folding handset. That's a more distant look at the future, one that may not become a reality, but the leaks also include alleged changes in this year's models.READ: Apple iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Review – Look beyond 5G

Apple is planning to add an in-screen fingerprint reader to its 2021 iPhone, at least according to sources speaking to Bloomberg. The report claims that Apple is testing the alleged upgrade at this time, one that would obviously make it easier to unlock iPhones at a time when just about everyone is wearing masks in public.

The Face ID system won't go anywhere; rather, an in-screen fingerprint sensor would give users a new way to unlock their handset without pulling down their face mask or tapping in the passcode. As well, the report claims that Apple will launch a new iPad Pro that is 'similar to' the present model, but that adds a 'much faster' processor and a MiniLED display.

Beyond that, the leak claims that Apple has been in talks about ditching the charging port on certain iPhone models, instead switching to wireless charging. Whether that happens — especially in the near future — remains to be seen.

Looking toward the future, the report goes on to detail alleged work on foldable displays for a potential future folding iPhone. The leak claims these tested displays feature a nearly visible hinge. The sources allege that Apple has had talks within the company about different possible folding screen sizes, including one that would have around the same size as the iPhone 12 Pro Max display at 6.7-inches.

One of the sources told Bloomberg that Apple doesn't have a complete foldable phone prototype at this time — and, of course, it's possible that such a device may never hit the market. If Apple does decide to launch a foldable iPhone, it will likely be years before we see one.