Apple's under-display Face ID rumored to be delayed to 2026 — here's why

Apple iPhone 15 Plus review.
(Image credit: Future)

 At this point, under-screen Face ID on an iPhone is beginning to feel like a tech myth, like Valve working on Half-Life 3 (it’s never happening). But a new report hints that it is coming, but not until 2026.

As spotted by The Mac Observer, an exchange on Twitter (now X) between a fan and display analyst Ross Young says that the under-scren Face ID is being pushed back to 2026. This most likely means it is skipping the iPhone 17 line. We know the iPhone 16 hasn’t even come out. Such is the business.

Young is usually pretty good with his information, so while all rumors and leaks should be taken with a grain of salt, this one is believable.

We've been reporting on rumors of under-screen Face ID since before the iPhone 13 launched. Combined with the rumors that the iPhone won't get Touch ID back, it's not a good time for fans of Apple's various ID features (unless you like Face ID as it is now).

We've known for a while that the under-screen Face ID feature was getting pushed back, but until Young's post, it was assumed that it meant 2025, which was the time for the iPhone 17 Pro and iPhone 17 Pro Max.

From a design perspective, under-screen Face ID would remove the indentation on current iPhones and house it under the screen. Phone manufacturers have been racing to have smaller cutouts and notches on the display. At this point, all that's left is the front-facing camera and Face ID.

While we wait for the elusive under-screen Face ID, Apple is reportedly throwing some significant changes at the iPhone lineup for the 17 series, including the death of the long-running Plus version in favor of the iPhone 17 Slim. The Slim will still be bigger than a standard iPhone 17, but we don't know much more yet.

In the meantime, we're gearing up for Apple's May 7 "Let Loose" event. We expect new iPads, including a super-sized iPad Air and an M4-toting iPad Pro. We'll have all the details during and after the event, including breakdowns of everything the company announces.

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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.