Here’s how Apple plans to ditch the home button on the iPhone 8

Here’s more proof that Apple is indeed working towards ditching the physical home button on its upcoming iPhone 8.


Apple is widely expected to bring in radical changes with its upcoming iPhones. One of these much-discussed changes include doing away with the home button/TouchID sensor. Now KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has hinted how Apple might be going about achieving that.

apple-iphone-8-display-sizes-kgiIn a note to investors, Kuo states how the iPhone 8 will feature a 5.8-inch OLED display, but only 5.2-inch of that will be actual screen space, Macrumors reports. The rest of the space will be dedicated to a virtual button panel, which will essentially replace the physical home button. Kuo further says that size-wise the 5.8-inch iPhone 8 will have the same dimensions as the the 4.7-inch iPhone — 138.3×67.1×7.1mm. This would be possible by not only removing the home button, but also by having a screen covering the entire front panel.

Though Kuo doesn’t really mention how the fingerprint sensor embedded in a display would work, a recent patent filing has sort of revealed a potential functionality. According to this patent, micro LEDs can be used in lieu of standard capacitive touch arrays, and separate IR diodes can be embedded straight into the display. These LEDs along with a sensing IR diode are capable of detecting and reading fingerprints. The use of IR light further allows the fingerprint sensing components to remain active even in low-light environments or when the screen is off.

Kuo also mentions that the OLED iPhone is expected to adopt “other biometric technologies,” which could be a further hint towards a possible iris scanner onboard. A research note by JP Morgan’s Rod Hall states that the upcoming iPhone will boast a laser technology capable of identifying faces, AppleInsider reports. The note says, “A 3D sensor needs a few key features —it needs a light emitter in the form of a LED or laser diode, a light filter for a noise-free scan, and a speedy image sensor coupled with a powerful signal processor.”

Apple this year is expected to launch up to three iPhone models, expected to be called iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus and the iPhone 8. While the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus are expected to bring in iterative upgrades, the iPhone 8 is expected to come with radical changes. These include a glass sandwich design, wireless charging, faster processor, and better set of cameras among others.

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  • Published Date: February 17, 2017 2:18 PM IST