It has long been rumored that Apple could eventually get rid of the physical home button. The home button has existed on pretty much every iPhone out there, although to Apple’s credit they have improved upon it over the years and have made it a lot more durable than what it used to be.
However the removal of the home button does seem like a pretty obvious move, and now thanks to an Apple patent discovered by AppleInsider, it has been hinted at what we might be able to expect. According to the patent, it describes a home button with 3D Touch like features, and will see the integration of force sensing technology alongside Touch ID.
What this means is that while the home button will continue to exist, it won’t be an actual moving component. Instead it will react depending on how hard users press down on it. Right now one of the reasons why the home button fails on the iPhone is because it contains moving components that has wear and tear.
By removing such components, in theory the button could last longer. It is also possible that by removing some components, Apple could make the iPhone even thinner than before. However whether or not this patent comes a reality is an entirely different story, but for now based on what we have heard, don’t expect the iPhone 7 to lose the home button anytime soon.