Analyst: there's a 50% chance for the Apple iPhone 7 to ditch the physical home button
In an investor's note to his clients, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster recently predicted some of the features that the iPhone 7 series will bring to the table. Note that these predictions are based on market analysis. There's roughly a year to go before Apple launches the iPhone 7, and everything is subject to change at this point in a product's launch.
According to Munster, the iPhone 7 might ditch the iconic physical home button, a feature that has been present on all iPhones to date. The analyst says that by perfecting the "3D Touch" pressure-sensing system, the company could integrate the home button right on the display. Munster estimates a 50-50 chance for Apple to ditch the physical home button with the iPhone 7.
Although an iPhone without a physical home button would represent a major change in itself, Apple would also have to relocate the fingerprint scanner. Munster says that Apple could do what other Android manufacturers did to solve the problem, and place the fingerprint scanner on the side of the iPhone 7.
The analyst also predicts that the iPhone 7 will finally make use of displays with sapphire crystal. Apple tried to launch the iPhone 6 with a sapphire display two years ago, but the company's partnership with GT Advanced Technologies turned out to be a major fiasco. Since then, Apple rolled out sapphire crystal displays - more durable than their glass crystal counterparts - on a smaller scale on some versions of the Apple Watch.
What do you guys think of these predictions? Would you be intrigued if the Apple iPhone 7 comes out without a physical home button?