Every single model of the iPhone has shipped with a physical home button, but that could change this September. According to the latest iPhone 7 display leak, Apple is planning to swap it for a touch-sensitive alternative.
Some iPhone fans love the physical home button. It’s pretty simple to use, has a number of useful functions, and can’t be pressed accidentally when using the device in landscape mode. It has also gotten more reliable with each iPhone iteration.
However, there are still times when the home button on your iOS device fails, leaving you with a costly repair bill if the device is out of warranty. This could be one of the reasons why Apple is planning to swap that physical button for a touch-sensitive one.
Another advantage to a capacitive button over a physical one is that it can be made water-resistant more easily.
According to this display leak, the button will become part of the iPhone’s cover glass. It should still contain a Touch ID sensor for fingerprint scanning and will still be surrounded by a ring — but it won’t be made of metal.
Sources speaking to Mobipicker, which first published these images, say the new home button will continue to offer various functions, including tap and hold for Siri, and a double-tap for multitasking.
Rumors about Apple switching to a buttonless design for the iPhone 7 surfaced way back in October 2015, so this is a move Apple may have been planning for some time. However, it’s difficult to confirm this is a genuine component.
With that in mind, it’s probably best we don’t read too much into this until Apple makes the iPhone 7 official this fall.