Analyst: there's a 50% chance for the Apple iPhone 7 to ditch the physical home button


Now that the new iPhones are out, some people are already looking forward to what's next in store for the iconic smartphone series. While the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are based on the same design as the previous generation, typical for S-cycle iPhones, Apple will surely go back to the drawing board with the iPhone 7. The last time that the company introduced new iPhone designs, Apple revealed the most radical change to its smartphone series: larger - 4.7 and 5.5-inch - display sizes.

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.

This would do a lot to make the iPhone more compact and, thus, easier to handle. The current-generation iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have screen-to-body ratios of 65.71% and 67.91% respectively, which is well below that of the average high-end smartphone. 

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. 

Although this isn't mentioned in the report, we have to note that this would be the perfect timing for Apple patented fingerprint readers that can work from beyond the display. Qualcomm will roll its own ultrasonic fingerprint reader technology with the upcoming Snapdragon 820, meaning that the technology might already be out there for Apple to place the reader behind the display if it wants to.

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?

source: Barrons via GforGames

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41 Comments

59. willywanta

Posts: 503; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

let's see if apple would move the fingerprint scanner on the back and claim that it would be the perfect way to use a phone. LG has done it and nobody bats an eye, and when apple does it, everybody will lose their minds. Sapphire crystal screen? For the sake of anything holy, leave that to the real premium phones like vertu.

50. geusan

Posts: 137; Member since: Oct 19, 2014

thera is 100% chance samsung will follow it.

53. darkkjedii

Posts: 31816; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I don't think they'll eliminate it. They've invested so much money into Touch ID.

58. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

You know the Nexus S (circa 2010) and the Galaxy Nexus (circa 2011) had on screen buttons (no physical home button). Yeah I know they were Nexus phones, but they were branded/made by Samsung.

46. darkkjedii

Posts: 31816; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Just elongate the thing for Christ sake.

52. discharge unregistered

Exactly!!!!

36. nepalisherpa

Posts: 338; Member since: Jul 17, 2015

Anyone can be an analyst these days, I guess! A 50% chance? Come on!

29. discharge unregistered

I'm a android guy but if Apple does this and 4gb ram like my Samsung note 5 and a better camera that might!! I say might interest me but what's the cost for that!!

25. wando77

Posts: 1172; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

There's a 100% chance the iphone 7 will have 2013 specs

27. 8ozchickenbreast unregistered

2013 specs that will outperform our 2017 Android devices. Ouch.

35. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

G4 vs 6shttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9BK3hLW62g P.S. Check the battery drop on iPhone 6s. G4 vs 6s+https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF7fK_kmPws Nexus 6 vs 6shttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNpQ4sUxnK8 I am gonna act like those android phones dont have QHD display and worse SoC just to throw you a bone.

51. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

People don't seem to under stand how bad they insult Android when they say 2013 specs. If that were true I would be raging mad to find out Note 5 doesn't perform as good as 6s plus. After spending that money. Ouch indeed.

28. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 159; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Yeah, like being the fastest smartphone on the planet and winning blind camera tests on androidauthority.

30. discharge unregistered

Sammy has the best camera and speeds bench tested too!!

24. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 159; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

I personally also think the home button will go. But I differ with the writers view that Apple will make the next iPhone more compact simply because they will be forced to reduce battery capacity especially since the phone will be thinner. I think they will bump the screen sizes to take advantage of the available space for better screen to body ration. iPhone 7 will have (125mm/5", 2001x 1125 resolution) screen size and the iPhone 7+ (145mm/5.7" 2208x1242 resolution).

23. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

If you're an analyst and you predict the iPhone will lose the home button, you really suck at your job.

19. Iodine

Posts: 1520; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

I say that there is 50% chance that there is a daytime right now. But honestly iPhone 7 design is already long finished and negotions for producing it had already begun - there needs to be like a crapload of those sexy 6,4 mm beasts ready for 2016 holiday season. No guestimate is going to influence that there is a Home button.

13. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

It could work if they put force touch behind the bezels (they patented that) or on-screen buttons.

9. Leandronb

Posts: 86; Member since: Jun 03, 2014

there is a 50% chance of anything happen in the world. what a crap news.

7. TheYellowFlash

Posts: 45; Member since: Oct 08, 2015

And the isheeps will call it "innovation" LOL

26. 8ozchickenbreast unregistered

How long will it take for the Android circle jerkers to realize this joke is old and stale. Come up with an innovative joke, all mighty innovative fandroids.

4. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Analyst: there's a 50% chance for the next Gen Android flagships to ditch the physical home button. Wait for it.

8. TheYellowFlash

Posts: 45; Member since: Oct 08, 2015

Android flagships including LG & Sony??

11. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

the phycical home button was ditched by Android OEMs long ago. where have you been?

49. Tsoliades

Posts: 228; Member since: Dec 22, 2012

The Joke You

55. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I take it you dont know the post history of Ninetysix... Just read a few responses of his in here....then it will all make sense.

12. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

It would be more like: Welcome to 2010 Apple http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_google_nexus_s-3620.php Wait for it.

14. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

43. buccob

Posts: 2982; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

The funny thing will be that when Apple drops the physical button, the next PA article will read: "Best phones with On Screen Home Key" and the iPhone will be on top.... Hypocrites....

54. willard12 unregistered

I'm thinking Apple Pencil, multi-window, and power saving mode went through that copier. http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Samsung-SGH-F700_id1941

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