The iPhone 7 isn’t even out, and we’re already getting details on the iPhone 8, or whatever it is that comes next. In its review of the iPhone 7 this morning, The New York Times mentions hearing that next year’s iPhone model will ditch the physical home button for a “virtual button” built directly into the screen. The screen is believed to take up the entire front of the next iPhone, leaving no room for a physical button.
This rumor has popped up a few times now, so it seems likely that Apple’s plans are set. Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal have both reported Apple’s plans to remove the home button and use an edge-to-edge display over the past few months. The Times is now doing the same, citing a pair of anonymous Apple employees.
There’s no detail yet on how the virtual button will work
What we don’t know is exactly what Apple’s implementation of an on-screen button will look like. The easy route would be to do what Android does and include a small strip along the bottom of the display. That may not be ideal for Apple, though, since its single circular button wouldn’t utilize the space to either side of it.
It’s also not known if Touch ID will be built into the front of the phone somehow or if it’ll be moved to another location, like the power button or the back of the phone, as we’ve seen Android phones do. But if the leaks keep up at this pace, we’ll likely know well ahead of next September.