In addition to getting rid of the unsightly bands on their back, future iPhones could create more room for the screen without enlarging the whole device by putting a virtual Home button along with Touch ID sensors right into its screen.
Not only would such a solution eliminate a “chin” at the iPhone’s bottom but the Cupertino firm has already developed necessary technologies in-house, claimed a report Monday by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes.
In its ongoing pursue of thinness, Apple has developed touch and display driver integration (TDDI) based on a single in-house developed chip. According to sources in Taiwan’s integrated circuit design industry, the approach integrates fingerprint sensors into the screen itself.
“The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs – models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the Home button,” reads the article.
If “a whole plane design” is about to eliminate the Home button, Apple could replace it with an on-screen virtual Home button control like some Android handsets.
The Apple Watch already has force sensors integrated into the display.
The forthcoming ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus’ refreshes are said to include Force Touch as well. The company could put these pressure sensors either underneath the touch panel backlighting layer or between the outermost protective screen cover and the in-cell touch panel.
Ming-Chi Kuo, a KGI Securities analyst who has the most prescient track record in forecasting Apple’s plans, predicted the upcoming smartphones will be 0.2 millimeters thicker than the present-generation iPhones due to Force Touch.
In addition to a next-generation iPhone screen with Touch ID integration, an Apple patent application we wrote about earlier this morning hints at a more seamless handset appearance without the antenna bands on the back, thanks to a new radio waves friendly metallic alloy the firm has invented.