Reviewers and consumers appear to be warming up to the iPhone 7 — at least according to the surprising pre-order numbers from T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS). However, next year’s iPhone 8 continues to shape up to be a design masterpiece for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
That’s because insiders say the iPhone will ditch the iconic home button, and the front will be an uninterrupted sheet of glass.
iPhone 8 Will Be a 10th Anniversary Masterpiece
It’s no secret that Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive has a thing for glass. Whether that’s in the design of Apple retail stores, or the front surface of your favorite iOS device, glass is a big design element. But he prefers a sweeping, minimalist look, free of obstructions.
His vision for an iPhone 8 that incorporates an all-glass front has been frequently discussed. 2017 will mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, a major milestone in AAPL history. It also marks the start of a new cycle in Apple’s new three-year iPhone release strategy. And the company could use a boost in sales after a year where new iPhones haven’t been moving out the door the way they once did.
In other words, all the elements are in place for the iPhone 8 to make a big splash, and the centerpiece of the new design is looking to be an all-glass front.
That means no Home button to disrupt the flow. The display is expected to be a flexible OLED version that’s brighter than anything Apple has released to date. And, like rival Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF), Apple is expected to offer at least one iPhone 8 version that has an actual curved display, wrapping around the sides.
An iPhone 7 review in the New York Times includes confirmation from two anonymous Apple employees that next year’s iPhone 8 will have an all-glass front. The Home button disappears, although its functionality will live on as a “virtual button” built into the screen.
iPhone 7 Home Button Was Phase One
As anyone who has used an iPhone or iPad knows that the Home button is a critical part of iOS. You can’t simply eliminate it.
However, the plan with the iPhone 8 is to change the Home button from being a physical button to a virtual one. The iPhone 7 is actually Phase One of this transition. The button itself is still there, but it doesn’t operate as a physical button, Instead, AAPL employs its “taptic engine” technology. When a user presses the button, the new iPhone vibrates to give feedback.
With the iPhone 8, AAPL would take the next step by eliminating the button altogether, instead incorporating the Home button features as a virtual button built into that glass front. It would use the “taptic engine” feedback being pioneered with the iPhone 7 and would have to incorporate TouchID sensors in the glass as well.
Jony Ive would get his all-glass iPhone front. Meanwhile, consumers would get a win with the end of mechanical wear and tear on the most frequently pressed iPhone button, which should make the iPhone 8 even more durable.
Perhaps most importantly — at least from a sales perspective — the iPhone 8 would look significantly different from all previous iPhones. That’s a key selling point for consumers who want visual proof that they own the latest and greatest Apple gear.
And key to Apple enjoying a killer 10th anniversary launch weekend.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.