On to the next one, as they say. Now that the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are here, the rumors surrounding the iPhone 7 are starting to pick up speed. The timing is right — Apple has probably already been working on the phone, and now it’s time to start lining up manufacturers and parts. As such, analysts are starting to make predictions.
Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, the guy who stands by his claims that Apple really is building its own TV set — not just an Apple TV — has another prediction. Munster says there’s about a 50 percent chance that Apple ditches the home button on the iPhone 7. Munster believes Apple might not need it now that 3D Touch adds a new depth element to the operating system.
“As many have speculated, the addition of 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,” Munster said in a report obtained by Barron’s. “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.”
Sony placed a fingerprint reader on the side of the Xperia Z5, so it’s possible to move Touch ID there, but it seems more likely Apple would move it to the back of the phone. Removing the home button could also allow Apple to provide more screen real estate on the front of the phone.
Will it happen? We’ll believe it when we see it.