KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple will drop the physical Home button from its upcoming “iPhone 8” handset, instead opting for a new “function area” at the bottom of its 5.9-inch OLED display.
The most apparent change of the OLED iPhone will be a full-screen design, along with the elimination of the Home button and current fingerprint recognition technology. Of particular note is that we expect the OLED iPhone will adopt a 5.8” physical OLED panel. But the actual display area will be around 5.15”, and the rest will be an area for functions (e.g. allocation of virtual buttons).
The function area would be located in the same area as the current Home button and will replace Touch ID. The lack of a Touch ID sensor will be made up for by new biometric technologies Apple is working on that will offer functionalities similar to Touch ID. Apple has been rumored to be working on bringing facial recognition to the iPhone lineup.
It isn’t clear exactly what might be located in the “function area” but it could feature some type of virtual buttons or quick actions, similar to how the Touch Bar works on the latest models of the MacBook Pro lineup.
iPhone 8 to be “Only Bright Spot”
In a separate report today, KGI said the iPhone 8 will be “the only bright spot among the new iPhone lineup” this year. Kuo predicts the momentum from the iPhone refresh will continue into Chinese New Year 2018.