iPhone 7 May Include Flush '3D Touch' Home Button
Apple's iPhone 7 may not include a physical home button, instead adopting a touch-sensitive "3D Touch" home button, reports Mac Otakara [Google Translate]. Such a home button would be flush with the body of the iPhone and would not actually depress when a finger is placed on it.
Instead, when a user presses on the home button, haptic feedback will mimic a press, much like the Force Touch trackpad on Apple's most recent MacBooks. Through haptic feedback, iPhone users will feel the sensation of pressing on a button even though there's no actual button to press.
Mac Otakara's report refers back to an April home button rumor from Stormmedia and confirms its veracity, citing unspecified supply chain sources and saying there's a "high possibility" the rumor is accurate. We've heard the same home button rumor from DigiTimes and analysts at Cowen and Company. While none of these sources have track records accurate enough to unquestioningly say the rumor is true, the fact that it's a rumor we've heard multiple times now suggests it could be accurate.
A flush home button, when combined with rumors of improved waterproofing and the removal of the headphone jack, makes some sense. Without a physical button, there would be no way for water to get into the internals of the phone around the button, and it would also potentially improve the reliability of the Touch ID system.
Based on leaked part images and dummies, the removal of the home button will not drastically change the look of the iPhone 7.
Should Apple remove the physical home button in favor of a Force Touch or 3D Touch home button in the iPhone 7, the company will be one step closer to eliminating the home button entirely, something that's rumored for the 2017 iPhone.