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2017 iPhone: “All-new form factor” with edge-to-edge display, insider says

by Todd Haselton | May 11, 2016May 11, 2016 10:44 am PST

It’s starting to seem like Apple will not gravitate much from the industrial design of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus for the iPhone 7 this year. If that happens, it will be the first time that Apple hasn’t made a big sweeping change to its iPhone after two years. Instead, Apple may be saving those big changes for the iPhone it launches in 2017.

According to a podcast from insider and frequently quoted Apple blogger John Gruber, Apple is going to make big changes with the 2017 iPhone. Gruber cited industry “scuttlebutt” that an “all-new form factor” is expected.

“What I’m saying is that I’ve heard this independently and [Apple] is completely getting rid of the chin and forehead of the phone,” Gruber said, according to MacRumors. “The entire face will be the display. And the Touch ID sensor will be somehow embedded in the display. The front-facing camera will somehow be embedded in the display. The speaker, everything. All the sensors will somehow be behind the display.”

Let’s break all of that down into how it’s actually quite possible.

LG Innotek, a subsidiary of LG, recently announced a new fingerprint module that works without a button, allowing it to embed right into a screen. It’s possible Apple could use this component, or a part just like it, to allow for an edge-to-edge display that covers the entire face of the iPhone. Also, Sharp’s Aquos Cyrstal smartphone, sold on Sprint in the U.S., used the display as a speaker, so we know that’s possible to do as well. Hiding a camera behind the display might be tough, but it’s possible.

If you’re waiting for a real big advancement from Apple for the iPhone, sounds like you’ll have to wait until 2017 for that to happen. However, maybe we’ll all still be surprised come this September.

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...