However it seems that in 2017, the button might not even exist at all. During their review of the iPhone 7, the New York Times released a little tid-bit about next year’s iPhone, claiming that they have been told that the button will be removed entirely and that it will be replaced with a “virtual” button built into the screen itself.
The passage reads, “Apple is likely to continue making iPhones without headphone jacks, and next year’s iPhone will have a full-screen face with the virtual button built directly into the screen, according to two people at the company who spoke on condition of anonymity because the product details are private.”
Soft buttons/on-screen buttons aren’t new and Android phones have been using it for a while now, but it would be the first for Apple. As for Touch ID, there exists technology right now that can read fingerprints through a display, such as Qualcomm’s Sense ID and this idea has been explored by Apple in the past as evidenced in patents.
The report from the New York Times also corroborates a report by well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who earlier this year suggested that next year’s iPhone will have an edge-to-edge display and an all-glass enclosure, but it’s safe to say that you should probably still take this with a grain of salt for now.
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