2017 iPhone Will Include Edge-to-Edge Display With 'Virtual Button' Built Into Screen
In the midst of the publication of multiple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus reviews, one tidbit within The New York Times' mostly positive review of the 2016 iPhone briefly looked forward to the much-anticipated "mega cycle," ten-year anniversary model of next year's iPhone. According to the publication, who spoke with two anonymous Apple employees, "next year’s iPhone will have a full-screen face with the virtual button built directly into the screen."
While not new information, the comment does continue a rumor of a drastically redesigned iPhone in 2017 that will introduce an edge-to-edge OLED display and eliminate the top and bottom bezels, where the front-facing FaceTime camera and Touch ID Home Button are currently housed. The redesigned Home Button of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (which isn't an actual button, but packs in Apple's Taptic Engine to mimic a button press) will be completely gone in 2017, and fused with the OLED display, along with Touch ID functionality.
But taking the leap to the 7 may be a wise bet, even for late technology adopters. Apple is likely to continue making iPhones without headphone jacks, and next year’s iPhone will have a full-screen face with the virtual button built directly into the screen, according to two people at the company who spoke on condition of anonymity because the product details are private. Apple declined to comment on next year’s iPhones.
With an all-glass, edge-to-edge display, Apple design chief Jony Ive's vision of an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass could finally come true in 2017. Regarding the display, it's said to be flexible OLED rather than an LCD, allowing Apple to introduce a thinner device that consumes less power and offers a better display with higher contrast ratio and more true to life colors.
It may also feature edges that are curved on both sides, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. That curved model could potentially be placed as a 5.8-inch premium addition to the line, with the other 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch, lower-priced iPhone 8 tiers including flat LCD displays.
Coming up sooner, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be launching this Friday, September 16, to the first round of pre-order customers. While an iterative design, Apple has made a few notable changes to the iPhone line this year, including the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, a flush Home Button, improved water resistance, and major overhauls to the camera, especially with the dual-lens system on the iPhone 7 Plus.