iPhone 16 "design changes" could impact Face ID on forthcoming handsets

No one's sure what it'll look like

iPhone 15 in pink product pic
(Image credit: Future)
Quick Summary

Apple's supply chain has changed slightly, indicating Face ID tweaks.

Whether this is a meaningful change or something under the hood isn't clear, though. 

Apple might just have something big up its sleeve – supply chain sources have indicated that something is changing in the Face ID tech for the iPhone 16

The Telegraph has reported that UK semiconductor company Coherent is in dire financial straits after losing a supply deal with Apple, and this has set tongues a-wagging about the implications. 

The change was apparently related to Apple tweaking the design of its Face ID components, since some of these were supplied by Coherent. And that means the biometric security system might be getting at least a minor overhaul. 

Now, Digitimes has added more smoke to the fire, reporting that, "The Face ID system for Apple’s iPhones, comprised of various sensors and cameras, was previously supplied by the Newton Aycliffe plant.

"However, design changes in the upcoming iPhone 16 series, slated for release in late 2024, led to Apple ceasing its orders."

This basically just confirms what we already knew, but underlines the fact that these "design changes" remain shrouded in mystery. After all, given the recent spread of the Dynamic Island to every new iPhone, could this mean that the FaceID sensors contained in that area are getting smaller?

Reducing the size of that glorified cut-out is surely a major aim for Apple, after all, in just the same way that a full under-display system is reportedly part of its eventual plans. But, it's also not something that many of the leaks and rumours around the iPhone 16 have so far mentioned. 

It's also possible, of course, that Apple is instead just changing its supply chain to one where it thinks it can get better value moving forward, and that the apparent design changes will turn out to be extremely technical, with no real noticeable change on the user's end. 

This is the joy of the tech world – you could be getting a sneak peek at a huge change to the iPhone world, or at something that basically will make no difference at all.

Apple isn't likely to make any official comment either way, so we'll have to wait for the iPhone reveal event in a few months' time to get some clarity. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.