Future iPhones to come with a virtual home button that doubles up as fingerprint scanner?


For what feels like a long, long time, we've been sporadically coming across nuggets of intel that suggest that the future of displays holds some intriguing breakthroughs like fingerprint scanning integrated into the very screen. Now, a new report from DigiTimes — a publication with a variable track record — suggests that tech like that is exactly what Apple has in mind.

According to sources within Taiwan's IC design industry, the report begins, the California-based tech giant is working on a TDDI (Touch and Display Driver Integration) solution that could see future iPhones eliminating the signature, physical Home button, and the screen itself taking over its navigational and security duties. 

Obviously, none of this can be confirmed at this point, and it's okay to be skeptical. Still, for Apple to take this into its own hands wouldn't be that unusual — after all, the company does design its own CPUs already. In fact, some would argue that it makes sense for one of the world's most profitable companies to seek vertical integration. In any case, such a development may prove beneficial in terms of savings in space — no physical button should, hopefully, warrant less bezel, so a larger screen can be fitted without increasing the overall size of the device.

Make it happen, Apple!

source: DigiTimes via 9to5Mac

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37 Comments

1. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

If you guys can remember, Ron from arstechnica who made the poster "iphone 6 users welcome to 2012" stated that in 2016 iphone users will be enjoy virtual buttons. Exactly LoL,

3. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Not so funny, because iOS works perfectly fine with one button. So when Android gets intuitive iOS fans could say "Welcome to 2009 or 2008"

7. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

Your argument makes no sense. He didn't say Apple will introduce more buttons, and nothing is intuitive about iPhones, it's just really simple because it doesn't do much at all. But Android isn't intuitive either, it will just get easier to use.

8. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

The iPhone does a lot dude. What are you talking about? You are simply focusing way to much on the home screen.

12. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

It does and it doesn't. I'm not focusing on the homescreen, I mean everything about it, it just seems like Apple should let people set their own defaults and get it more personal; that in my opinion makes it intuitive.

24. Athene

Posts: 72; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

This would be nice, but that's not what Apple's selling point is. If people wanted a phone that could do this, they would buy an Android device (or WP; correct me if I'm wrong). If people wanted the "iOS experience" that gives them what they want/like, then they have the option to jailbreak their phone. Home button toggles have been around since the iPhone 3g with Cydia, along with multi window features, detachable video panes, themes, and more galore. Of course, I also agree with you to an extent. There are a few settings for home button uses in iOS currently, but none which allow productive "shortcuts". Apple could implement these features (such as "taps", not presses, directional swipes (IR Touch ID being developed to allow this already, since the current Touch ID has no IR to sense direction), and toggle switches (Think console gaming - long tap the button and a directional wheel pops up, moving your thumb in the direction of the shortcut you wish to use). I think it would be nice.

31. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

List some extra features of the iPhone.

9. BobbyBoster

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

He is correct, we Apple fanboys are always correct.

13. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

You are.

20. fonelover

Posts: 255; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

U r not BobbyBuster though.

27. BobbyBoster

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

We have the same logic, we hate the fanboys but we bash Android itself because... screw logic.

6. Iodine

Posts: 1504; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

The problem is that this "virtual button" suposedly will sense your fingerprints, will be able to get pressed thanks to flexible Retina display, provide haptic feedback thanks to the Taptic engine on press and it's going to be completelly invisible so it will not cut into your precious screen real estate. There are many rumors about what tech Apple is researching to eliminate the home button. But I know it's Apple so they have to copy even if it's innovation of the year and other companies will scramble to copy that. And in 2012 iPhone 5 was released, the 6 was released in 2014.

14. CAMBODIANPATRIOT2

Posts: 13; Member since: Jun 19, 2015

hi lagdroid phanboy! seem like ur getting butthurt. put ice on that pain.

15. BobbyBoster

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

You speak like you are not butthurt by Android lol. Oh wait, I am too

18. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Wait, I use an ipad mini (which lags btw). Enjoy your days before getting banned.

26. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Well this is innovative. I dont like Apple but this is really nice. a Physical bouton with a small screen on it thats make it a part of the screen anyway. This is pretty nice and there is no sarcasm on this one.

2. waddup121 unregistered

iPhone 10

4. janno

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 19, 2014

Might be based on ultrasonics technology, like Qualcomm's Sense ID, which should help Android devices do the same thing with their fingerprint reader. I wonder if they will just cut out the current bezels and leave the screen the same (they should) or increase the screen size for both iPhones and mess with iOS developers once again.

5. Pulkit1990

Posts: 46; Member since: May 08, 2014

resizing screens will not be a problem if apps are optimised for 6 or 6 plus .

10. TBomb

Posts: 1669; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

It just doesn't seem very Apple-ish to make it look like the rendered picture. I think the bezels at the top and bottom is why a lot of people like the look of the iphone. Once you eliminate them, it'll look like a Sharp Aquos or LG G#. Personal opinion

28. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Where have I heard, "it doesn't seem Apple like" before? The top and bottom bezels are their only, because of the home button. If you get rid of the button, there is no need for the bezels. The top and bottom are the same size to keep it even. The render above is from some random person, not from Apple. You should know this. As far as the home button, it is iconic, but it's time for something different. The iOS home screen grip will always let you know it's an iPhone. We don't need widgets. We have a watch for that!

37. Japultra

Posts: 133; Member since: May 16, 2014

Not everyone has a watch, and a watch is not really a substitute for widgets.

11. CAMBODIANPATRIOT2

Posts: 13; Member since: Jun 19, 2015

after that u will see that virtual button on samsung phones. and samsung slaves say their brand is innovative yeah that's right innovative in copying. lol

16. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Then indirectly you are saying that Apple iphones are Nexus's, Xperia's, and HTC's slave? Because they had virtual buttons before your iphone...

17. Dr.Hye

Posts: 95; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Inovative in display cpu ram camara phones. Should I go on?

19. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Let him Enjoy his last days in PA. Soon it'd be RIP CAMBODIANPATRIOT2

33. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The next Galaxy S could have a Retina Scanner. I would say brats way for innovative vs another way total a fingerprint. Lol. I would tour eyeball.had way more detail to cover than a finger. Because as a fact, even though like would sick if you didn't have hands, it would be worse if you can't see.

21. Athene

Posts: 72; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Meh..let's rejoice when it's actually here?

22. ameran

Posts: 344; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

I can never forget how the iSheeps were screaming that virtual buttons for Android devices are garbage, but they are celebrating to get such technology after all. The iSheeps always sound like the goat on Direct TV commercials.

23. Athene

Posts: 72; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

To an extent, their points are still valid. This new approach would mean the home button and Touch ID are built right into ("invisible") the display itself, not causing a need for an ugly bar on the bottom of your phone.

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