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Apple’s 2017 iPhone said to feature edgeless display and no home button

Published May 11th, 2016 2:10PM EDT
iPhone 7s Rumors
Image: Screenshot / YouTube

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If you’re of the opinion that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 is interesting but not necessarily exciting or compelling, we have some good news for you. While analysts and pundits alike have been busy exclaiming that Apple’s days of innovation are behind it, a new nugget of information about Apple’s 2017 model iPhone should put those concerns to rest.

During the most recent episode of John Gruber’s The Talk Show podcast, the well-connected blogger dropped a number of tantalizing tidbits about what we may expect to see from Apple’s 2017 iPhone, a device likely to be called the iPhone 7s or, depending on who you ask, the iPhone 8.

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Specifically, Gruber relays that the iPhone set to follow this year’s iPhone 7 will feature an edge to edge display that completely does away with the bezels located at the top and bottom of the device. Now what does that entail for Touch ID, you might naturally be wondering. Well, word is that Apple has come up with a way to integrate its Touch ID sensor under the display. Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily represent an Apple breakthrough necessarily as LG earlier this month showed off something similar. It’s also worth noting that Apple earlier this year filed a patent for a similar type of technology.

All that said, Apple’s 2017 iPhone is clearly shaping up to be one compelling device.

As for what Gruber has heard about the device, his remarks read in part:

I think next year’s phone, the 2017 model, the one that will come out in September of 2017. What I have heard, now this is not really from the rumor mill but just scuttlebutt that I’ve heard, is that it will be an all-new form factor.

And there have been some rumors, I guess, but what I’m saying is that I’ve heard this independently and it is completely getting rid of the chin and forehead of the phone. The entire face will be the display. And the Touch ID sensor will be somehow embedded in the display. The front-facing camera will somehow be embedded in the display. The speaker, everything. All the sensors will somehow be behind the display.

What I don’t know, and I have no idea, is whether that means that they’re going to shrink the actual thing in your hand to fit the screen sizes we already have, or whether they’re going to grow the screens to fit the devices we’re already used to holding… I don’t know.

Given Gruber’s track record, I think it’s fair to say that scuttlebutt from Gruber carries more weight than most of the anonymously sourced rumors that tend to make the rounds.

And while we’re on the topic of Apple’s 2017 iPhone, it’s worth noting that we’ve also seen reports that the device will feature a curved OLED display.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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