iPhone 8 – Why Apple could FINALLY ditch one its smartphone’s most iconic features
APPLE will ditch its iconic Home Button from the forthcoming iPhone 8, prominent technology analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted.
PUBLISHED: Tue, Jan 24, 2017
iPhone 8 is shaping up to be one of the most impressive Apple smartphones to date, with glass panels on the front and rear of the device, a curved borderless OLED display and no Home Button
Following Apple’s decision to ditch the industry-standard 3.5mm headphone port in the iPhone 7, it looks like the next iPhone could also see a prominent feature dropped.
According to renown analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the iPhone 8 will lose the iconic Home Button.
Apple is purportedly set to ditch the physical Home Button, in favour of an all-glass front for the device.
Ming-Chi Kuo has previously been a reliable source of information about upcoming Apple products.
The KGI Securities analyst was the first to confirm the existence of the iPhone SE ahead of its launch in March 2016.
And now, Mr Kuo has released a research report that reiterates a very well-trodden rumour about the 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone.
Apple is purportedly looking to incorporate the Touch ID fingerprint sensor from the physical Home Button beneath the glass display.
Apple reportedly wants its iPhone 8 to resemble a “single pane of glass”
iPhone 8 is expected to be closer to the iPhone 4, than the design of the current iPhone 7
According to Kuo, the current system Apple uses for its fingerprint recognition will not work through an all-glass design.
Instead, Mr Kuo claims, the new fingerprint sensor will require optical sensors to read the print resting on the display.
The complicated new display set-up, which presumably will still need to incorporate the pressure-sensitivity debuted with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, will require a number of new, custom solutions from the panel manufacturers.
However the KGI Securities research report states that Apple has enough clout within the industry to get the system built ready for the new iPhone.
Alongside the new fingerprint recognition technology, the iPhone 8 could also see Apple introduce facial tracking sensors into its flagship smartphone, Mr Kuo has claimed.
These could be used to scan users’ faces to help verify identification.
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Mr Kuo believes the fingerprint recognition system will “ultimately be replaced by a facial recognition system” in an effort to make the iPhone even more secure.
“However, if the technical challenges cannot be overcome, we believe a combination of fingerprint and facial recognition is another possible solution,” he writes.
Elsewhere, Apple is reportedly looking to distance itself from the curved aluminium design language it has used for the past three generations of iPhone, first introduced with iPhone 6.
With the Home Button gone, Apple can extended the display to the bottom of the phone – reducing the chunky bezels around the screen, and shrinking the overall footprint of the device.
The new 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone is also expected to be modelled with an all-glass design, similar to the iPhone 4 and 4S.
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus is easily the best phablet Apple has ever made, and it includes the finest camera the US technology firm has ever made.
Apple is expected to debut its new industrial design language early next year with a refresh of its iPad range.
Alongside the new look, Apple is expected to include wireless charging in the new flagship phone.
But unlike rival devices from the likes of Google, Samsung, HTC, and Huawei, which predominantly use the Qi open interface standard for inductive charging – Apple’s technology sounds like a more complete solution.
According to the latest whispers from Cupertino, Apple has something much more ambitious planned.
Concept images reflect Apple’s rumoured decision to drop the iconic Home Button
Apple has reportedly struck a deal with wireless charging company Energous, which developed a wire-free charging solution dubbed WattUp RF capable of charging devices from up to four metres away (15-feet).
WattUp RF technology can be included in a wide variety of electronics, including smartphones, tablets, wearables, cameras, wireless keyboard, computer mice, remote controls, and more, according to the company.
As long as any of these devices are within four metres of the transmitter, the device will charge its battery – as if it was plugged into the wall socket.
The Radio Frequency (RF) system uses a similar system to wifi to deliver the safe wire-free charging solution.
Unlike the Qi charging pads used for phones like the Galaxy S7 Edge, WattUp RF will continue to charge your phone while it is in motion – as long as it never moves further than four metres away from the transmitter, of course.
According to Energous, up to 12 different receiver devices can be juggled by the system simultaneously.
So in theory, your Apple Watch, Apple Magic Keyboard and Mouse, iPhone 8 and iPad Pro could all be simultaneously charging whenever they are in the same room as a WattUp RF transmitter.
In early 2016, Energous teased it was working with a “tier one” consumer electronics company to implement the WattUp technology into consumer devices.
According to a new report from Fast Company, Apple supplier Dialog has partnered with Energous.
As part of the new deal, Energous received a staggering $10 million investment from chipset maker Dialog Semiconductor last month.
That’s not confirmation that Energous will be supplying technology to Apple, but given that “as much as three-quarters of Dialog’s business is with Apple,” it’s a strong indicator.
In a statement, Energous CEO Steve Rizzone confirmed the company would be transferring all its silicon operations to Dialog.
Mr Rizzone said: “We’re actually transferring all of our silicon operations to Dialog. All the Energous technology will be sold under the Dialog branding and all sales orders will be going through Dialog. It’ll take us about 90 days to do all that.”
Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive wants the iPhone 8 “to appear like a single sheet of glass,” according to The Wall Street Journal.