Yesterday, we reported on a Bloomberg piece that featured a few insider tips and industry sources mostly on the matter of FeliCa mobile payments coming to future iPhone’s in Japan. However, it appears that there might be other interesting hints in said article that relate to the future of the iPhone line as a whole.
The latter concern Apple’s 2017 smartphones and all the surprises they might hold. It is no secret that next year marks a decade anniversary for the Cupertino handset and rumors have been running wild about something spectacular in store. One such speculation claims the anniversary iPhone will bring a major redesign to the front panel of the phone, going for an all-display approach and ditching the signature home button in the process. Bloomberg mentions something along the same lines:
Apple is already at work on a major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display by removing the Home button, according to a person familiar with the matte. …
As already mentioned, this notion is not new in any way and has been popping-up repeatedly in the rumor mill amid the craze surrounding this year’s upcoming iPhone 7 announcements. Another alleged part of the new design is a glass chassis that sources claim Foxconn has already been developing and experimenting with for over a year.
If this pans out, Apple will have to overcome at least a few major technological hurdles in the process. While a near edge-to-edge and even curved display or a glass back are no longer unheard of, the matter of housing the TouchID reader is tricky.
Currently fingerprint readers on modern smartphones either resides in a home button on the front or its separate control on the back or the sides. The point is that neither approach really mixes with a glass all around body and a display only front panel.
We have been hearing time and time again about a new capacitive 3D touch home key, already implemented in the upcoming iPhone 7. If this turns out to be the case, it might very well represent an important stepping stone in the technology necessary for the ambitions implementation planned for 2017.