iPhone 16 Face ID may get a mystery upgrade — here’s what we know

iPhone 16 Pro Concept Video Science & Knowledge
(Image credit: Science & Knowledge/YouTube)

A iPhone 16 Face ID design update might be on the way due to Apple ending a partnership with a particular parts supplier.

DigiTimes, in an article discussing the state of the U.K.'s semiconductor industry, mentions a story from The Telegraph in the U.K. back in May about Coherent, an iPhone component supplier based in the northeast of England. Coherent, which makes parts for the iPhone's Face ID unlocking/verification system, was considering selling or closing its factory after a the end of a deal with a larger partner, assumed to be Apple.

From this information, we can assume that Apple's deciding to shake things up with its Face ID parts for future iPhones. We just don't know what the changes could be exactly.

There have been rumors of Apple working on under-display Face ID for some time, hiding the infrared dot projector and reader beneath the panel for a cleaner look. This has been rumored for the iPhone 16 as well, but according to respected leakers, next year's iPhone 17 should be when we'll see the first sign of this.

An exciting upgrade or just business?

It's possible that the end of the Coherent deal is simply a case of Apple swapping one set of components for functionally identical ones from another supplier. An upgrade for Cupertino's back offices to care about rather than iPhone users. However, we are hopeful that there will be some tangible upgrade for customers if Apple does swap out its parts, such as more reliable or faster performance.

The best chance for us to learn about any alterations like this is in September, the traditional month for iPhone launches. Take a look at our iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max hubs if you want to learn more about what's been rumored for the 2024 class of iPhones, such as the new Capture button or upgraded cameras.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.