A wave of iPhone 7 news and rumors have been making rounds online as fans eagerly await the release date of the newest Apple phone. And while most reports talk about the phone’s internal features, new leaked information claims the next iPhone will lose one key feature — the Home button.
According to DigiTimes, a reliable source for tech updates, Apple is developing a new design for its smartphone that will eliminate the Home button. The Cupertino-based tech giant is allegedly working on Touch and Display Driver Integration (TDDI), a “single-chip solutions for its iPhones” that will come with a fingerprint sensor, noted the report.
“The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs – models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the Home button,” sources told DigiTimes.
However, given the important function of the Home button, experts say Apple may not delete the function altogether for the upcoming iPhone 7 or iPhone 6s. Instead, the physical button may just be converted to a virtual toggle instead, much like Samsung and other Android phones.
“By integrating the fingerprint technology onto the same chip as the iPhone’s multitouch display, Apple could switch to a virtual home button instead – eliminating the need for bezels and allowing for a display that takes up the entire front of the iPhone,” Times of India suggested.
The iPhone home button is one of only four physical buttons in the Apple smartphone, together with the screenlock button, silent mode switch and volume. It is, however, the only physical control on the phone’s face. It is also most used as it helps users go back to the “home” interface of the gadget, wherever they may be on their phones.
While Apple has not yet confirmed the reports, rumors have also not clearly hinted that the new design will be present in the iPhone 7. The next installment of the smartphone is expected to drop on September 2015, following after its predecessors’ release schedules. As for the price, Inquirer.net notes that it may be priced similar to the iPhone 6 which started from £539 or AU$1,100.