Report: iPhone 16 will not get Touch ID on any models

Apple's future iPhones are likely to remain finger-free when it comes to unlocking and ID verification

Touch ID
(Image credit: Macworld)

If you prefer to unlock your iPhone with your finger rather than your face, the iPhone 16 may not be for you: a new report from a well-connected insider says that almost none of Apple's Touch ID manufacturing equipment exists any more as the iPhone embraces facial recognition across the range. The outlier is the iPhone SE, and some rumours have previously suggested that'll embrace Face ID in its next generation too. 

The report comes via social network Weibo, as reported by MacRumors. The circuit expert behind the posts has a decent track record of Apple hardware news, and they say that the only remaining Touch ID manufacturing hardware is for the current iPhone SE. If Apple had any plans to resurrect the touch tech, it clearly isn't going to do it any time soon.

That doesn't mean fingerprint recognition in the iPhone is dead forever. But if it returns it won't be with a big button on a big chin, like in the current iPhone SE: that takes up too much space on any non-folding iPhone. 

What's the future of iPhone fingers?

Apple has been rumoured to be working on below-display fingerprint scanning for some time now, with the latest predictions suggesting it'll appear in iPhones launching in late 2026 – which would meant the iPhone 18. Similar rumours suggest that under-display Face ID sensors are also likely on a similar timescale, removing the notch and Dynamic Island from the front of the iPhone. However, 2026 is such a long time away that any predictions are best considered wishful thinking rather than hard news; the lack of any such predictions for the much more imminent iPhone 16 indicate that neither form of authentication is coming any time soon.

The news about Touch ID being on its way out does seem credible, however: the same source previously leaked that the iPhone 14 was keeping the A15 Bionic chip and more recently suggested that the iPhone 16 Pro and Plus models' processors will be made using a different process to the ones in the iPhone 15 Pro in order to reduce Apple's costs.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (