iPhone 7 may feature home-buttonless design, predicts analyst

By

touchid

Photo: Apple

We won’t get a peak of the iPhone 7 until late next year, but when we do its biggest feature may be that it comes without it’s most iconic pieces of hardware: the home button.

Piper Jaffrey analyst Gene Munster is infamous in the Apple community for his incessant predictions that Apple is making a television set. Now the analyst is dipping into some iPhone 7 speculation, claiming that by ditching the home button, the iPhone 7 will come in a smaller form-factor but pack the same screen size.

“3D Touch may provide Apple with a way to eliminate the home button on the phone and use the additional space to make the screen bigger or make the device smaller,” writes Munster. “One barrier to this could be Touch ID, which is integrated into the home button currently. Apple would need to move the Touch ID reader to potentially the side of the phone to remove the home button.”

Gene Munster doesn’t exactly have a great record when it comes to Apple product predictions, however there have been multiple signs that Apple is considering this. A recent patent filing revealed Apple wants to put Touch ID behind the display, rather than on the side, as Munster suggests.

Other patents have pointed to Apple actually keeping the home button and adding new technology and controls to it. Apple recently patented a way to turn Touch ID into a track pad of sorts that can tell which direction your fingerprint is moving and then display two user interfaces based on which way you swipe.

The odds of Apple going with a home button-less iPhone 7 are about 50%, claims Munster, but I’d put it a bit lower than that. He also predicts that Apple will make big improvements to iPhone battery life because the company doubled MacBook battery capacity over the past few years. Sapphire glass displays could also show up on the new devices, but after how badly things went the last time Apple tried, we wouldn’t put money on that either.

  • CPUGenuis

    *peek

  • Well done to this “analyst”. I could have told you that ages ago. This is what Apple have been planning ever since they introduced Touch ID. With iPhone 6s it’s remarkably fast, the only thing left to do is to embed the sensor into the screen itself and that’s what they’ll do.

  • abc905

    Why not just have a small circle on the bezel where the home button used to be, integrate the touch-id sensor there, and have 3d touch simulate the tactile sensation of the button?

  • Andy Brooks

    This makes total sense if you think about it. Remove the home button and leave the chin buttonless. the whole chin will be a smooth blank glass surface that uses 3D touch with taptic feedback when pressed (Like on the new trackpads), Also the glass with will still read fingerprints all along the chin so that you can place your finger anywhere along the chin to wake-up and unlock.

  • tjwolf

    Everyone who suggests this ignores that the home button not only serves as an input mechanism, but also as a quick way to orient the phone in ones hand! I bet lots of people fish their iPhone out of their pocket without looking and feel for that home button.

  • Millard Kinkead

    Uh, it’s “peek” not “peak”.

  • Grayson Mixon

    The new Nexus devices put the fingerprint sensor on the back so that you use your index finger when holding the phone. That’s a possibility.

  • EKIMMMMM

    the fact that he thinks apple will cram TouchID onto the side of the phone is absurd