Apple’s Touch ID is still being used by its customers who recently purchased an iPhone SE (2022). However, it may be the last model to utilise the secure biometric authentication technology introduced with the iPhone 5s in 2013. The troubled Touch ID system, which was directly integrated into the all-important home button, was reliable in terms of accuracy but had its fair share of durability issues because it was a moving button until Apple replaced it with a static home button with the iPhone 7. The technology was then sidestepped by the introduction of Face ID with Apple’s iPhone X, reducing the need for a home button altogether because of its new gesture-based software interface. Now, it seems that Apple is finally done with Touch ID and that it will not be making another appearance on any future iPhone.
First reported by MacRumors, a post on Weibo by an “integrated security expert” claims that Apple has shut down most of the original equipment it used to build chips for its iPhone Touch ID modules. It also mentions that only a few machines have been kept running to supply modules for the recent iPhone SE (2022) models, which still utilise the static home button with the integrated Touch ID system. This hints that Apple has no immediate plans to revive the technology used in its older iPhone models.
Apple has yet to update its last iPhone SE model, which still stands as the most affordable iPhone in some countries, including India. The smartphone was released in 2022 and is due for an update anytime soon as it offers little real-world value other than having the Apple logo at the back.
As per the rumour mill, the next iPhone SE (currently tagged as the iPhone SE 4) is said to have gotten a refreshed design (which would appear similar to an iPhone 14 and plenty more. A newer design would be a proper departure from the rounded and super slim designs of past iPhone models and would also see the old home button getting discarded entirely from Apple’s iPhone range.
Apple is still expected to retain a single rear camera module with its upcoming iPhone SE 4, but it is expected to be a high-resolution unit, which will hopefully get some hybrid digital zooming capabilities. Older reports also hint that Apple could add its recently introduced Action Button with the new iPhone SE as well.
As for Touch ID on Apple’s Macs and MacBooks, it’s business as usual, as we have yet to see the first laptop from Apple with its Face ID authentication system built-in, even though Apple has adopted a display notch on its new and recently launched MacBooks. Other than its iPhones, Face ID is currently only available on Apple’s iPad Pro tablet models (2018 onwards).