When Apple made the choice to drop the home button and Touch ID fingerprint scanning in favor of Face ID, Riccio said they went “all in” with that functional decision. “We spent no time looking at [putting] fingerprints on the back or through the glass or on the side,” he said. Apple did it because they believed in the quality of Face ID security and screen unlocking, with executives describing it as good as second-generation Touch ID, but also because there simply wasn’t time.
“As far as last-minute design changes? Actually, we didn’t have time for it,” said Riccio, who seemed energized by the memory of that intense development period. “Quite frankly, this program was on such a fast track to be offered [and] enabled this year. We had to lock [the design] very, very early. We actually locked the design, to let you know, in November,” said Riccio before he was cut off by Apple PR. Riccio appeared to realize he’d said maybe too much, and then reaffirmed with a smile, “We had to lock it early.”