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iPhone 8 to ditch the home button for “function area”

by Brandon Russell | February 15, 2017February 15, 2017 4:15 pm PDT

The iPhone 8 is expected to feature a 5.8-inch OLED display that’s virtually bezel-less. That much we know. How Apple will adapt to this new form factor, which is expected to ditch the home button and Touch ID, is up for debate. But we may have a definitive answer.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the upcoming device will feature a “function area” that will display virtual buttons. Additionally, the area will incorporate new biometric technologies to replace Touch ID, a feature Apple introduced back in 2013.

Earlier this week, an Apple patent hinted the company found a way to build a fingerprint sensor right into the display, further suggesting the death of the Touch ID home button was near. Kuo, who has been accurate with his Apple predictions in the past, appears to believe this is precisely what Apple is going to do.

Touch Bar 2.0

As far back as September of last year, Apple has been rumored to move to an edge-to-edge display that will support virtual buttons. Kuo’s report, coupled with other rumors, adds even more weight to Apple making the move.

Not to mention, Apple could use what it learned with the Touch Bar, which was introduced in the new MacBook Pro. Imagine this “function area” dynamically changing depending on what app you’re using.

While the iPhone 8’s screen is expected to be 5.8 inches, Kuo suspects the actual display area will be closer to 5.15 inches to account for the virtual buttons. By removing the home button, however, the iPhone 8 will reportedly be even smaller than the iPhone 7, while still featuring a larger display.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...