iPhone 7 Could Have Touch-Sensitive Home Button as Waterproof and Dustproof Rumors Persist

Less than five months before Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, supply chain rumors continue to suggest that the next-generation smartphones will be both fully waterproof and dustproof.

Apple is also reportedly testing a touch-sensitive home button for its upcoming flagship handset, possibly meaning the iPhone 7 could have a flush home button, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes (via I4U News).

iphone7mockupantennabands

iPhone 7 mockup with a traditional home button

DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, but at least three previous reports have claimed the iPhone 7 will be waterproof over the past seven months, and dustproofing would be inherently plausible. Comparatively, the iPhone 6s is surprisingly water resistant, but not entirely waterproof.

In September, a source on Chinese microblogging service Weibo said the iPhone 7 will have a strengthened, waterproof frame, backed up by a Fast Company report that also claimed the device will be thinner than the iPhone 6s. Rumors suggest the iPhone 7 could be as thin as 6.1mm like the iPod touch.

Rumors surrounding the home button on future iPhones are less consistent. Back in June 2015, a report claimed that Apple was looking to develop new display technology with "integrated fingerprint sensors," potentially allowing for the company to eventually do away with the iconic home button on iPhones.

Liquidmetal-Home
Last month, Apple was granted a patent for a pressure-sensitive Liquidmetal home button that deforms slightly when pressed, but returns to its normal shape when the user removes their finger or thumb. Apple has annually renewed its exclusive rights to use the malleable alloy since 2010, but has yet to do so in a major way.

Last week, Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz speculated that Apple will skip its traditional "S" upgrade cycle next year and introduce the iPhone 8 without a physical home button. Apple's single-chip solution for touchscreen and display drivers could allow for a Touch ID-enabled screen, eliminating the need for a separate home button.

iPhone 7 and/or iPhone 7 Plus models are also rumored to feature a Smart Connector, dual-lens cameras, no 3.5mm headphone jack, repositioned antenna bands, stereo speakers, wireless charging, and a larger battery, but Apple may hold off on some features until its next iPhone with OLED in 2017.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

thisisnotmyname Avatar
104 months ago
I like the physical home button, I've never been a fan of those capacitive buttons on android phones.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
igorsky Avatar
104 months ago
This news is irrelevant unless corroborated by the great analyst Ming Chi-Kuo. Then, and only then, will I believe it.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
x-evil-x Avatar
104 months ago
Stale and predictable... or iconic? There's a reason that car manufacturers have kept the same grille design for decades. Can you imagine a BMW without the kidneys?
But car analogies don't work with phones. You hold a phone and overall footprint matters. Getting rid of the top and bottom overall wasted space will make a much smaller and compact device. Apple needs to do something to stay up to date and iPhones are starting to look dated. Bezels galore.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
1Zach1 Avatar
104 months ago


iPhone 7 and/or iPhone 7 Plus models are also rumored to feature a Smart Connector ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/04/13/iphone-7-smart-connector-no-stereo-speaker/'), dual-lens cameras ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/04/04/dual-cameras-exclusive-to-iphone-7-plus-kgi/'), no 3.5mm headphone jack ('https://www.macrumors.com/2015/11/27/iphone-7-no-3-5mm-headphone-jack-lightning/'), repositioned antenna bands ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/02/02/iphone-7-flush-camera-no-bands/'), stereo speakers ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/02/19/suppliers-prepare-iphone-7-production/'), wireless charging ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/01/07/iphone-7-thinner-waterproof-no-headphone-jack/'), and a larger battery ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/03/18/iphone-7-alleged-battery-images/'),.
All of that and the removal of the home button to decrease the overall size of the device is a winner in my book, but it looks like I'll be keeping my 6 until the iPhone 8 comes out.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacHiavelli Avatar
104 months ago
For a huge, cash-rich company, Apple seems to be doing very little in terms of innovation, design, and maximising the potential and delivery of its products, or it is doing a heck of a lot behind the scenes.

Has Apple become a lazy, rudderless, commonplace producer of lamely fashionable tat, or is it going to surprise us with a move that will let it and technology take a giant leap forwards?

All this parsimonious mediocrity is so underwhelming.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacHiavelli Avatar
104 months ago
They're making a car, dude. Chill.
True. But the problem there is that a car will take them into niche territory: fewer people can afford to buy cars, the buyers tend to be older, and the market is heavily fragmented.

Apple's strength in connecting with people came through the iPod: relatively cheap, accessible to people across the social and financial board, and great at hooking the younger generation into the Apple family.

By all means, make a car (or make something better than what we think of as a car today), but such a product risks diluting Apple's appeal and losing it the groundswell of support that it enjoys today with people across the planet.

Increasingly finding that people are falling out of love with Apple: messy product lines, glib designs and accessories, and underwhelming miserly products. No longer cutting edge and desirable, but achingly dull and fashionably risible.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Apple Announces 'Let Loose' Event on May 7 Amid Rumors of New iPads

Tuesday April 23, 2024 7:11 am PDT by
Apple has announced it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time (10 a.m. Eastern Time), with a live stream to be available on Apple.com and on YouTube as usual. The event invitation has a tagline of "Let Loose" and shows an artistic render of an Apple Pencil, suggesting that iPads will be a focus of the event. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple Vision Pro Dual Loop Band Orange Feature 2

Apple Cuts Vision Pro Shipments as Demand Falls 'Sharply Beyond Expectations'

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple has dropped the number of Vision Pro units that it plans to ship in 2024, going from an expected 700 to 800k units to just 400k to 450k units, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Orders have been scaled back before the Vision Pro has launched in markets outside of the United States, which Kuo says is a sign that demand in the U.S. has "fallen sharply beyond expectations." As a...
iOS 17 All New Features Thumb

iOS 17.5 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday April 21, 2024 3:00 am PDT by
The upcoming iOS 17.5 update for the iPhone includes only a few new user-facing features, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities. Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 beta so far. Web Distribution Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU...
iPad And Calculator App Feature

Apple Finally Plans to Release a Calculator App for iPad Later This Year

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:08 am PDT by
Apple is finally planning a Calculator app for the iPad, over 14 years after launching the device, according to a source familiar with the matter. iPadOS 18 will include a built-in Calculator app for all iPad models that are compatible with the software update, which is expected to be unveiled during the opening keynote of Apple's annual developers conference WWDC on June 10. AppleInsider...
iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven

Apple Reportedly Stops Production of FineWoven Accessories

Sunday April 21, 2024 6:03 am PDT by
Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future. Kosutami has revealed...
apple vision pro orange

Apple Vision Pro Customer Interest Dying Down at Some Retail Stores

Monday April 22, 2024 2:12 am PDT by
Apple Vision Pro, Apple's $3,500 spatial computing device, appears to be following a pattern familiar to the AR/VR headset industry – initial enthusiasm giving way to a significant dip in sustained interest and usage. Since its debut in the U.S. in February 2024, excitement for the Apple Vision Pro has noticeably cooled, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On...