A recent report from a Chinese social media source indicates that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 16 models will not incorporate Touch ID fingerprint recognition, instead fully cementing Face ID facial authentication as the exclusive iPhone biometric unlocking method moving forward.
Specifically, a Weibo post cited supply chain sources saying that Apple has discontinued production of prior Touch ID sensor hardware used in older iPhone models. This implies no reintroduction of fingerprint scanners in the 2024 iPhone generation.
Additionally, the post confirmed the budget-oriented iPhone SE series will retain Touch ID in its next iteration, but iPhones overall are strongly trending against the return of fingerprint unlock. This suggests Face ID scored a definitive win as Apple’s preferred advanced authentication technology.
Apple started shifting iPhone biometrics away from Touch ID during 2017’s iPhone X launch by debuting Depth Sensing Face ID cameras to map owners’ facial geometry. Later premium models like the iPhone 14 Pro retain and upgraded Face ID.
But Apple also kept Touch ID present on its latest iPhone SE budget handsets appealing to certain demographics. However, reports indicate even the iPhone SE will drop fingerprint sensors within a generation, streamlining Apple’s approach around Face ID alone moving forward.
Many experts predicted that after a 5-year absence, Apple was unlikely to revive Touch ID in its flagship iPhone lineup. Doing so may undermine its extensive marketing around Face ID and its infrared TrueDepth camera array enabling advanced facial mapping.
Unless Touch ID can be integrated seamlessly into iPhone screens someday, Apple sees far wider capabilities for user authentication and even health sensing through robust Face ID systems continually progressing each hardware generation.
While a contingent of users still prefer fingerprint over facial recognition convenience and speed, Apple is betting firmly on the latter based on iPhone 16‘s expected exclusive use of Face ID if the leaked supply chain details prove accurate.
Assuming Apple cements Face ID inside upcoming iPhones, it reaffirms facial recognition as mobile’s dominant future biometric technology outside of niche holdouts.
However, digital privacy advocates still express concerns regarding police accessing facial data. Ongoing debate continues around sufficient safeguards for biometric information that feels invasive to some consumers compared to passcodes despite unlock convenience.
Overall, Apple’s apparent choice to remove any Touch ID reintroduction inside iPhone 16 follows their technology trajectory betting on augmented reality and advanced camera capabilities. Though a bit polarizing, they aren’t wavering on Face ID’s front-facing security and depth-perception dominance whenever the next era of mobile computing arrives.