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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-800x659.jpg
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.jpg

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.

Article Link: iPhone 7 Could Have Touch-Sensitive Home Button as Waterproof and Dustproof Rumors Persist
 
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1Zach1

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2008
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kennyab

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Jun 5, 2013
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Whatever it takes to make a waterproof phone, I'm there. And since I got the 6s Plus, that's about the only new thing that will make me upgrade this cycle. But to be able to take the phone out on the water and not be paranoid when I pull it out of the dry box, that's a killer feature for me.
 

BeSweeet

macrumors 68000
Apr 2, 2009
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I wouldn't mind this. The touch-sensitive button on the HTC A9 works really well -- the fingerprint reader was fast, and tapping it to go to the homescreen was instant. I'm sure Apple can pull off something similar.
 
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Serban

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Jan 8, 2013
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Until iphone 8, apple can keep with big sales if they offer bigger battery life, water proof and ipad pro display
 
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uid15

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Mar 9, 2015
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My cat "could have" wings, but she doesn't. The physical, concave home button is a cornerstone of the iPhone design and is easy to locate quickly. That IS NOT going away, Apple are not that stupid (even if YOU are) please stop spreading myths.
 

BeSweeet

macrumors 68000
Apr 2, 2009
1,566
1,269
San Antonio, TX
My cat "could have" wings, but she doesn't. The physical, concave home button is a cornerstone of the iPhone design and is easy to locate quickly. That IS NOT going away, Apple are not that stupid (even if YOU are) please stop spreading myths.

You can have something with a similar shape / design as the current home button while making it touch...
 

MadeTheSwitch

macrumors 65816
Apr 20, 2009
1,193
15,781
They need to do something to shake things up. The iPhone design has become stale and predictable. Although I can't see them making some massive change this year and another one next year too. That's just not how Apple rolls. So unless there is some mindset change in Cupertino, I think a lot of these predictions aren't going to pan out. On the other hand, sales seem to be a little flat and their engineers must get bored of releasing things that just aren't all that revolutionary. So I guess anything is possible at this point.
 
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