Apple's 'iPhone 7' again rumored to feature 'Force Touch ID' home button

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2016
Rumors surrounding Apple's "iPhone 7" are flying in fast and furious as September quickly approaches, with a report on Tuesday claiming the next-generation handset will replace the mechanical home button with a capacitive Force Touch version.




Citing "field checks," analysts at Cowen and Company claim Apple plans to ditch traditional Touch ID home button designs in favor of a solid state capacitive component, reports Business Insider. Although the investment firm is not known to have sources inside Apple's supply chain, previous -- highly questionable -- rumors and parts "leaks" suggest the same for "iPhone 7."

In March, supposed spy shots reached the web showing what appears to be an unreleased iPhone model missing both a home button and headphone jack. A report from DigiTimes relayed a similar rumor one month later, adding that Apple's next-generation smartphone would also feature full water and dust proofing.

It is unclear how Apple expects to integrate a capacitive home button into its hardware lineup, though it can be speculated that a final product might use iPhone's Taptic Engine haptic feedback system to mimic the feel of pressing a mechanical actuator. In addition to existing technology, the company is investigating a type of solid state "Force Touch ID" module capable of sensing finger pressure while at the same time offering fingerprint authentication services.

Given that Apple suppliers are already ramping up production for this year's iPhone model, and assuming the company does indeed intend to eschew mechanical buttons for capacitive or similar technology, it is perhaps more likely that a touch sensitive home button will show up in next year's model. Bucking the usual tick-tock upgrade cycle, Apple reportedly skipped a massive redesign for 2016 as it waits for technology to mature.

Notably, reports indicate the 2017 iPhone will be completely revamped with dual curved glass panels and an OLED display. Also rumored for inclusion is an advanced haptic engine capable of complex feedback, technology that would go a long way in implementing the touch sensitive home button described today.

Apple is expected to debut a next-generation handset this fall alongside a public release of iOS 10. The most recent rumors suggest minor aesthetic changes owing to enlarged camera systems -- dual-lens for the larger 5.5-inch model -- and a darker Space Gray color option.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,148moderator
    The advanced optics, a force touch Home button (predicted by me here some 15 months ago), removal of the ancient audio jack, and updated internals to boost performance are significant upgrades.  Keeping the same industrial design for a third model year is not significant to the iPhone experience, especially for the large numbers of users who will be upgrading from pre-iPhone 6 models, or coming to the iPhone from another brand.
    Deelroncanukstormwizard69lolliver
  • Reply 2 of 16
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,893member
    As long as it is more reliable im all for it. 
    aylk
  • Reply 3 of 16
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    The advanced optics, a force touch Home button (predicted by me here some 15 months ago), removal of the ancient audio jack, and updated internals to boost performance are significant upgrades.  Keeping the same industrial design for a third model year is not significant to the iPhone experience, especially for the large numbers of users who will be upgrading from pre-iPhone 6 models, or coming to the iPhone from another brand.
    I'm just wondering if they'll give the button more haptic feadback than they do for other force touch or 3d touch functions. Right now, the button gives a pretty big feedback.
    aylk1983
  • Reply 4 of 16
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    foggyhill said:
    The advanced optics, a force touch Home button (predicted by me here some 15 months ago), removal of the ancient audio jack, and updated internals to boost performance are significant upgrades.  Keeping the same industrial design for a third model year is not significant to the iPhone experience, especially for the large numbers of users who will be upgrading from pre-iPhone 6 models, or coming to the iPhone from another brand.
    I'm just wondering if they'll give the button more haptic feadback than they do for other force touch or 3d touch functions. Right now, the button gives a pretty big feedback.
    Had assumed it would be the same, but it may make sense to differentiate it from an app press. Regardless I look forward to see what they come up with. Double click to open the app carousel is getting old, and the 3D Touch side screen press isn't easy to initiate one handed. 
    aylk
  • Reply 5 of 16
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,213member
    The advanced optics, a force touch Home button (predicted by me here some 15 months ago), removal of the ancient audio jack, and updated internals to boost performance are significant upgrades.  Keeping the same industrial design for a third model year is not significant to the iPhone experience, especially for the large numbers of users who will be upgrading from pre-iPhone 6 models, or coming to the iPhone from another brand.
    Except there were a lot of people that in theory should have upgraded to the 6S but didn't. I remember on several conference calls Tim Cook mentioned that something like 30% of the install base had an iPhone 6. So either the overall phone size is too big for some or the new features weren't enough to get people to upgrade, or it could be a combination of both. Anyway if Apple does remove the headphone jack Phil better have a compelling reason why. So far I haven't come across one.
    aylkbadmonk
  • Reply 6 of 16

    I wonder if Apple will do a special 10th Anniversary Edition of the iPhone next year.

  • Reply 7 of 16
    dalledalle Posts: 20member
    Makes sense for the new super slim, all glass front iPhone 8. In iOS 10 users must press the Home button to open the phone, that gesture is needed for a no-button front, and they'll take the flak for the removing the 3.5 mm jack this year, so the road is clear for that 10th anniversary iPhone.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 8 of 16
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,981member
    The advanced optics, a force touch Home button (predicted by me here some 15 months ago), removal of the ancient audio jack, and updated internals to boost performance are significant upgrades.  Keeping the same industrial design for a third model year is not significant to the iPhone experience, especially for the large numbers of users who will be upgrading from pre-iPhone 6 models, or coming to the iPhone from another brand.
    Except there were a lot of people that in theory should have upgraded to the 6S but didn't. I remember on several conference calls Tim Cook mentioned that something like 30% of the install base had an iPhone 6. So either the overall phone size is too big for some or the new features weren't enough to get people to upgrade, or it could be a combination of both. Anyway if Apple does remove the headphone jack Phil better have a compelling reason why. So far I haven't come across one.

    Moving to Lightning-only isn't just for better sound, although the vast majority of bloggers tend to focus on this specific point. Think on-ear biometrics.

    http://macdailynews.com/2016/0...

    "Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004: “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”"

    With wearables about to become a major category in the Apple ecosystem, this is bigger than just improved sound.

    radarthekatwilliamlondonpatchythepirate1983
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Moving to Lightning-only isn't just for better sound, although the vast majority of bloggers tend to focus on this specific point. Think on-ear biometrics.

    http://macdailynews.com/2016/0...

    "Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004: “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”"

    With wearables about to become a major category in the Apple ecosystem, this is bigger than just improved sound.

    Included a link to our coverage of that patent, since we discovered it in 2014 ;)

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/02/18/apple-patents-sensor-packed-health-monitoring-headphones-with-head-gesture-control
    radarthekat
  • Reply 10 of 16
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,148moderator
    The advanced optics, a force touch Home button (predicted by me here some 15 months ago), removal of the ancient audio jack, and updated internals to boost performance are significant upgrades.  Keeping the same industrial design for a third model year is not significant to the iPhone experience, especially for the large numbers of users who will be upgrading from pre-iPhone 6 models, or coming to the iPhone from another brand.
    "Except there were a lot of people that in theory should have upgraded to the 6S but didn't. I remember on several conference calls Tim Cook mentioned that something like 30% of the install base had an iPhone 6. So either the overall phone size is too big for some or the new features weren't enough to get people to upgrade, or it could be a combination of both. Anyway if Apple does remove the headphone jack Phil better have a compelling reason why. So far I haven't come across one."


    Before the 6S came out, 30% upgrade to the 6 by existing iPhone users would have been respectable.  Then after the 6S entered the market, more people would have to have continued buying the one year old 6 for it to just maintain 30% share against an ever-growing base.  So 30% for the 6 is not a bad level.

    On the headphone jack, I suspect there might have been an even more energetic resistance to Apple's dropping of the 3.5" floppy drive, had the general public been aware in the year prior to Apple shipping a PC without one, and had we had an Internet to share our resistance.  And yet, looking back we see that Apple was correctly pointing the way to a future all other PC makers joined.  
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 11 of 16
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,213member
    The advanced optics, a force touch Home button (predicted by me here some 15 months ago), removal of the ancient audio jack, and updated internals to boost performance are significant upgrades.  Keeping the same industrial design for a third model year is not significant to the iPhone experience, especially for the large numbers of users who will be upgrading from pre-iPhone 6 models, or coming to the iPhone from another brand.
    "Except there were a lot of people that in theory should have upgraded to the 6S but didn't. I remember on several conference calls Tim Cook mentioned that something like 30% of the install base had an iPhone 6. So either the overall phone size is too big for some or the new features weren't enough to get people to upgrade, or it could be a combination of both. Anyway if Apple does remove the headphone jack Phil better have a compelling reason why. So far I haven't come across one."


    Before the 6S came out, 30% upgrade to the 6 by existing iPhone users would have been respectable.  Then after the 6S entered the market, more people would have to have continued buying the one year old 6 for it to just maintain 30% share against an ever-growing base.  So 30% for the 6 is not a bad level.

    On the headphone jack, I suspect there might have been an even more energetic resistance to Apple's dropping of the 3.5" floppy drive, had the general public been aware in the year prior to Apple shipping a PC without one, and had we had an Internet to share our resistance.  And yet, looking back we see that Apple was correctly pointing the way to a future all other PC makers joined.  
    My point was with only 30% or so of the install base having upgraded to a 6 one would've assumed there was a large percentage of the install base still on a 4S, 5 or 5S that would in theory upgrade to the 6S yet the 6S isn't setting any sales records. If the years phone looks just like the 6 and 6S I think it will struggle. The 6 and 6S were not Apple's best designed phones IMO (camera bump, thick antenna lines) and there are other phones on the market whose overall size is smaller even though the display  is just as big. I know getting rid of the home button is no trivial matter but a lot or people like one handed use and that's harder to do with the 6 series.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    staticx57staticx57 Posts: 400member
    Except there were a lot of people that in theory should have upgraded to the 6S but didn't. I remember on several conference calls Tim Cook mentioned that something like 30% of the install base had an iPhone 6. So either the overall phone size is too big for some or the new features weren't enough to get people to upgrade, or it could be a combination of both. Anyway if Apple does remove the headphone jack Phil better have a compelling reason why. So far I haven't come across one.

    Moving to Lightning-only isn't just for better sound, although the vast majority of bloggers tend to focus on this specific point. Think on-ear biometrics.

    http://macdailynews.com/2016/0...

    "Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004: “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”"

    With wearables about to become a major category in the Apple ecosystem, this is bigger than just improved sound.

    It is still a bad argument as that is possible NOW with the Lightning connector on the phone already. Removing the jack just limits the option of older 3.5mm it doesn't add a lightning port that isn't already there to do what you say.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    staticx57 said:

    Moving to Lightning-only isn't just for better sound, although the vast majority of bloggers tend to focus on this specific point. Think on-ear biometrics.

    http://macdailynews.com/2016/0...

    "Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004: “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”"

    With wearables about to become a major category in the Apple ecosystem, this is bigger than just improved sound.

    It is still a bad argument as that is possible NOW with the Lightning connector on the phone already. Removing the jack just limits the option of older 3.5mm it doesn't add a lightning port that isn't already there to do what you say.
    I've seriously had enough of you people clinging on to the headphone jack for dear life. If you want to feel nostalgic then why don't you go back to using floppy disks and driving cars without power steering for god's sake. One less port means better waterproofing, more sturdy, and more space for other components. The Lightning port provides the same function of not better in that the sound quality is better and devices are able to be powered by it. Think noise cancelling phones, instead of being powered by batteries, they can be lighter and powered by an iPhone or iPad. There's also an incentive from a sales aspect in that people will want to buy new headphones with the Lightning adapter instead of keeping their old ones, or maybe they'll make a jump to Bluetooth. 

    The headphone jack IS going way eventually, either this year or sometime in the future. Freaking deal with it already. 
    williamlondonxmhillx
  • Reply 14 of 16
    netmagenetmage Posts: 292member
    My point was with only 30% or so of the install base having upgraded to a 6 one would've assumed there was a large percentage of the install base still on a 4S, 5 or 5S that would in theory upgrade to the 6S yet the 6S isn't setting any sales records.
    Except if you compare the 6s sales to the previous 6 year trend line, they fall right in line with what would be expected - the 6 sales were the anomaly and much higher than the trend. 
  • Reply 15 of 16
    xmhillxxmhillx Posts: 110member
    staticx57 said:

    Moving to Lightning-only isn't just for better sound, although the vast majority of bloggers tend to focus on this specific point. Think on-ear biometrics.

    http://macdailynews.com/2016/0...

    "Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,655,004: “Sports monitoring system for headphones, earbuds and/or headsets.”"

    With wearables about to become a major category in the Apple ecosystem, this is bigger than just improved sound.

    It is still a bad argument as that is possible NOW with the Lightning connector on the phone already. Removing the jack just limits the option of older 3.5mm it doesn't add a lightning port that isn't already there to do what you say.

    It's not really a bad argument. You're right, the phone already has the lightning port. The capabilities already exist, so where's the revolution in tech to switch to the earphones and headphones and wearables to lightning? There is none! Proof. The only effect from this is inconvenience. Zero benefits. Right?

    Well. The lightning accessories do exist. But are rare. Why? Because you have one port that costs $1 to design for, and another port that cost $4 to design for. The business side of the majority of ppl says "uhhm I have two ports to chose from to make my audio device? yeah stick with $1 and increase margins and profits."  The 3.5mm jack has been around for decades, costs have been low to design for. Only few companies make lighting headphones.

    Removing the 3.5mm jack forces the industry to move past the jack. The same with any legacy tech.

    In summary, the reason they're removing the 3.5mm jack, although the benefits currently exist as the lightning port is already on the phone, is that the removal incentivizes the industry to forgo the 3.5mm jack and adopt the newer tech and its benefits. Also, I guess it helps free up more room inside the phone to do whatever it is that Apple would like to do. I'm sure they want to capitalize on the benefits of that freed up real-estate, and they think the industry and the state of technology is ready for that change. It probably wasn't ready 5 years ago even though it would've been useful to have that freed-up space long ago.

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/why-android-l-wants-to-make-your-headphones-obsolete

    Read that kool article from 2014. Android phones were probably waiting on USB-C to get rid of their 3.5mm jack as well. It was "possible" to have digital audio through USB and miniUSB and microUSB, but apparently the forecasted USB-C was so much better it was worth waiting for. Plus, Apple benefits highly from a change to their proprietary Lightning port; while Android based manufacturers don't benefit by removing their 3.5mm jack and adopt USB-C because none of them "owns" USB-C and stands to profit from the switch. BUT, I'd bet money that Samsung/HTC/Nexus/LG/etc. will remove their 3.5mm jack after Apple does it. Obvious I don't know for sure, but that's what I'd bet.

    The change is coming and has been coming.

  • Reply 16 of 16
    GymkhanaGymkhana Posts: 45member
    Jony "the alleged genius" Ives needs to use this technology to eliminate pocket dialing.  Why Apple hasn't improved the ability to prevent this phenomenon, especially during this lull period of technological advancements, amazes me.  Apple needs to focus on usability, reliability, stability during this time, not just roll out useless buzzy features, just to make it look like they're making a lot of changes.  Every middle manager can come along and move the deck chairs on the Titanic, but change for the sake of change isn't a good thing.  Make changes that improve the experience for a wide audience.  And yes, move the damn power button away from the position opposite the volume buttons, and make the iPhone once-again suitable for single-handed operation.
Sign In or Register to comment.