Rumor claims Apple ordering Synaptics LCD parts amid delays in ditching iPhone's home button

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2015
For its 2016 iPhone models, Apple is reportedly placing LCD driver orders with Synpatics because of delays with in-house work on merging touch and display components.




Development on single-chip touch and display driver integration (TDDI) has "fallen behind schedule," DigiTimes said on Thursday, citing industry sources. The people didn't suggest a cause for the setback.

DigiTimes has a mixed track record with covering Apple products beyond its narrow supply chain focus. The latest rumor is consistent, however, with information from an AppleInsider source in June, which indicated that Apple is working towards removing the home button from iPhones, but won't have the technology ready until at least 2017.

TDDI is a fundamental ingredient for such technology, and past rumors have hinted that the company is trying to build Touch ID sensors into iPhone displays. This would allow users to unlock a phone simply by touching the screen, and give Apple the option of further trimming down bezels and weight. A multi-touch gesture would likely be needed to jump back to the homescreen, unless an onscreen button is used instead.

Some time ago Apple hired senior engineers from Renesas SP Drivers -- now a part of Synaptics -- to work on TDDI, DigiTimes added. Apple attempted to buy a controlling interest in Renesas in 2014, but the latter company is believed to have turned to Synpatics after making no progress in talks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    Some rumors are called "rumors"
    Other rumors are called "reports"

    How does AI decide?
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    Wonder how Apple can replace the functions of the home button.

     

    1. Unlock/TouchID - simply press down on the screen 

     

    2. Ask Siri - ?

     

    3. Go to home page - ?

     

    4. App selector - ?


     

    They could put a little triangle, a circle, and a square on the bottom when needed, and they could hide when not needed...

  • Reply 3 of 37
    I think the physical Home button will be gone as early as with next iPhone. But I think they will keep the same design but with a circle on the glass and a force touch sensor beneath it. The moving part has always malfunctioned eventually, but I don't think apple will drastically change the design with removing the button. An on screen button is too much like android, a swipe guesture or some multitouch is too hard with one hand. But maybe this is just wishful thinking from my part? IMHO they have added to many guestures. They need to make it simple again.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    The home button is not going away any time soon. It may not remain a physical mechanical button at some point, but it is just too nice of a feature to go away.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    sog35 wrote: »
    I think I cracked it on how Apple can get rid of the physical homebutton.

    1. To unlock/TouchID - force touch the glass

    2. To go to home screen - force touch the bottom of the screen.  There can be an option to allow a translucent digital button on the bottom of the screen to 'train' people.

    3. Siri - force touch bottom of the screen twice

    4. App selector - force touch corner of the screen (already seen in 6s)

    Of course Apps need to make sure bottom the screen is not used for force touch.

    By going to a zero bezel phone the 7+ would be almost as pocketable as the 6s.

    I think this is going to happen for iPhone7.  We heard 'rumors' that touchID wasnt' going to be ready for the 5s, that large screens were not going to be ready for 6.  All BS.

    I've posted this idea before. With apps that part of the screen won't be force-touch-programmable.

    The only problem I see with this idea is people getting confused which side of the phone the home button is on.

    I'm not sure if this tech is ready within a year since they'd have to hide the earpiece,camera and sensors behind the screen also. A transparent screen would work but again, very futuristic.*

    *a transparent capable display would allow an e-ink mode which I've been waiting for since 2010.
  • Reply 6 of 37
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Looks like smartphones are approaching a technological plateau. At this point they have reached a level where we really don't need a new one unless the one we have breaks down. Until the next major breakthrough, something like teleportation or mental telepathy /joking/, they are going to be like the the history of the automobile industry - only minor incremental improvements for decades waiting for flying cars. The form and function of smartphones are pretty much defined at this point.

  • Reply 7 of 37
    Another use of TDDI: Apple Watch

    Give us Touch ID built into the Watch glass (please). It would be easier to authenticate than typing passcodes on the small screen.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    I disagree.

     

    Two big jumps are still needed - zero bezel display and foldable screens.  

     

    Those two alone will take a decade to come true.  There is no such thing as a technological plateau as far as computing devices are concerned.  Once the phone is maxed out we will move on to wearables.


     

    Foldable screens would be a big jump. Zero bezel may be a technical challenge, but the benefit to the user is barely incremental.

  • Reply 9 of 37
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    sog35 wrote: »
    iPhone roadmap


    2016/2017 - near zero bezel phone
    2018/2019 - zero bezel phone
    2020/2021 - foldable phone
    2022/2023 - foldable phone - thinner, smaller bezel

    The media wouldn't know how to report a upgrade like this on an s cycle (e.g. Loss of physical home button).
  • Reply 10 of 37
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    I've seen yet to see a way to get rid on the home button that doesn't make the iPhone a worse experience. For me one of the ways that 'may' be an improvement would be to keep the chin, integrate Touch ID into the button bezel and have a circle painted into the glass where the home button is now. And add 3D Touch to are to detect when it's being pressed. The improvement would be less moving parts and in theory more realibility. The negatives would be greater difficult in the dark. Not even sure this is such an improvement. May be worse. The home button are such a good design.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    iPhone roadmap

     

     

    2016/2017 - near zero bezel phone

    2018/2019 - zero bezel phone

    2020/2021 - foldable phone

    2022/2023 - foldable phone - thinner, smaller bezel




    I like your thinking.

  • Reply 12 of 37
    ingelaingela Posts: 217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Looks like smartphones are approaching a technological plateau. At this point they have reached a level where we really don't need a new one unless the one we have breaks down. Until the next major breakthrough, something like teleportation or mental telepathy /joking/, they are going to be like the the history of the automobile industry - only minor incremental improvements for decades waiting for flying cars. The form and function of smartphones are pretty much defined at this point.


     

    We never knew we would need a camera, GPS, web browser, music player, Apple Pay, heart rate monitor, finger print ID, or whatever new thing. ...It.s too soon to call plateau. 

    I am still on the 5s, I would not have jumped to it if it were not for the fingerprint sensor. It's a godsend for me because I hated pass-codes.



    Who knows what other new thing I never knew I needed was available on the next phone. Certainly nothing on the 6 series is tempting for me, but a smaller 7 with Apple Pay will do the trick.

  • Reply 13 of 37
    Why in the world would anyone want "zero bezel"?
  • Reply 14 of 37
    Why in the world would anyone want "zero bezel"?

    For whatever reason, fandroids consider it cool, like wrapping thin rubber bands around 24" chrome dubs and putting that on your car so you look like the OG. Never mind that it would be impractical on potholed roads. It's all about stylin'.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    jason98jason98 Posts: 766member
    Why in the world would anyone want "zero bezel"?

    anyone who want...
    To have a 4.7" screen in a form factor of iPhone 4?
    To have a 5.5" screen in a form factor of iPhone 6?
    To have a 6.5" screen in a form factor of iPhone 6+?
  • Reply 16 of 37
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rp2011 View Post



    The home button is not going away any time soon. It may not remain a physical mechanical button at some point, but it is just too nice of a feature to go away.

    Yes.  The only way to remove the home button would be if they come up with a method that is equally convenient, reliable and elegant.  If a phone sans home button requires additional finger movements or gestures to achieve the same result, then it is a failure.

  • Reply 17 of 37
    19831983 Posts: 1,224member
    I hope this rumour is wrong, I was hoping to see TouchID integrated into to iPhone screen with the 7 next year...when the payments for my current iPhone are completed. I want to upgrade to the larger Plus version, which is currently too huge for a 5.5" phablet because of the physical home button and the need for design symmetry.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Suggested solution:

    - Force-touch screen anywhere to unlock.

    - To get to home screen, Siri, etc., STILL have a home button%u2014but just a thin part of the lower bezel. No fingerprint reader means it doesn't have to be finger-sized. (It could be a physical clicker, or it could be simulated like the magic trackpads.)

    Second best:

    - Use the Sleep button as the Home button. Extra-long-press it to sleep/lock, or use a gesture, or it will auto-lock in 5 seconds when put in a pocket, or face-down, or (optionally) face-up non-moving. This way, it's no additional buttons%u2014one less than today in fact. And that's already a button nobody fails to know exists.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    The timing of this rumor is amazing and publications are falling for it. Just Tuesday, November 3, it was rumored Xiaomi was seeking suppliers for this technology. One day last week (I think) Samsung was rumored to have Synaptics for this technology. The week before the Samsung rumor, Synaptics announced the technology. And, let's not forget, Apple was rumored to be interested in the company Synaptics purchased before Synaptics purchased it. Last but not least Synaptics purchased the company in an attempt to become an Apple supplier again then Apple switched suppliers. To me, this rumor is Synaptics trying to make itself look good to Android smartphone manufacturers. Hey look, Apple chose us. You should, too!
  • Reply 20 of 37
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,532member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    iPhone roadmap

     

     

    2016/2017 - near zero bezel phone

    2018/2019 - zero bezel phone

    2020/2021 - foldable phone

    2022/2023 - foldable phone - thinner, smaller bezel


    Looks like you got it all figured out.

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