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Apple’s Touch ID Button Could Get the Boot Next Year

Apple iPhone SE Touch IDApple iPhone SE Touch ID
Apple iPhone SE in Rose GoldJason Cipriani

Apple’s Touch ID button is again the subject of an iPhone rumor.

The tech giant is expected to remove the standard Touch ID button in the iPhone it will launch next year, Bloomberg is reporting, citing sources. While the sources didn’t say exactly where the Touch ID feature would go, Apple (AAPL) won’t be removing the biometric feature that stands at the center of its mobile-payments service Apple Pay. Instead, it’s likely that the biometric feature will be integrated in some way into the iPhone’s screen.

The report follows several earlier rumors suggesting Apple was planning a major overhaul to the Touch ID button. Those reports similarly predict that Apple wants to remove the Touch ID button that sits beneath the iPhone’s screen and in some way integrate it directly into the screen. Users would then press down on the designed Touch ID area and feel a slight vibration when the feature is activated.

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Of course, Apple has not commented on its future plans and in keeping with its corporate policy, refuses to reveal details on those plans until it holds a special press event announcing them.

However, the mounting rumors surrounding Touch ID suggest Apple has major changes in store next year. Those changes won’t, however, be limited to Touch ID.

The 2017 iPhone is also expected to deliver an all-new design with a glass enclosure, replacing the iPhone’s use of metal. Apple could also offer at least one iPhone model next year sporting a curved screen. At least that version would come with a new display technology—organic light-emitting diode (OLED)—that hasn’t yet been offered in an iPhone.

Regardless of where Apple places the Touch ID, it’ll still be a critical feature in the company’s future. Touch ID, which analyzes a fingerprint to ensure the owner is actually using it, is the foundation for the company’s Apple Pay mobile payments service. It’s also used to unlock iOS devices, safeguard app data, and more. In the upcoming iOS 10 launching this fall, Touch ID will also be used for users to make mobile purchases through the iPhone’s Safari browser.

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Touch ID, in other words, isn’t going anywhere; it’s just moving to another spot on a dramatically modified iPhone.

All of this talk of next year’s iPhone might leave some to wonder about this year’s handset. All signs are pointing to an unveiling in early September, followed by a ship date either on September 16 or September 23.

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If the recent reports are true, this year’s iPhone will only be a minor upgrade, featuring dual speakers and new components, among other small updates.