The Home button is an iconic part of Apple’s design, but it may not be around forever. A new report claims the company is already developing new technology that could replace the physical button with a virtual sensor built into the display.
According to DigiTimes, Apple’s new touch and display driver integration (TDDI) chip will make it possible to offer an even thinner device with less bezel and a “whole plane” display. Instead of pressing the Home button you’d simply touch the screen, which would feature a built-in fingerprint sensor. We’re guessing Cupertino could also use some version of Force Touch to simulate the experience of pressing down.
The concept here is nothing new, but this is the first time we’ve heard reports that Apple may finally be ready to deploy the technology. Then again, DigiTimes doesn’t really have the best track record when it comes to Cupertino leaks, so it’s possible this might add up to nothing.
Either way, it’s unlikely Apple will introduce such a huge new feature with the iPhone 6s later this year. It’s possible we could see the Home button disappear in time for the iPhone 7 in late 2016, though it’s just as likely the company will keep us waiting even longer.