Apple Inc. is working on the iPhone 7 right now, and if the tech world, and Wall Street is right, the device will be a major change for fans of the firm. There’s very little info out there right now on the iPhone 7 specs, and a lot of rumors out there right now are based on fairly scant info.
The latest iPhone 7 specs all seem to center around the same thing. The device will, if some are believed, do away with the Home Button that has defined how users use their Apple smart phone for a long long time. there’s a lot of reasons to be excited by that sort of change, but it’s not likely to work out how the world expects. Here’s a look at where that iPhone 7 rumor came from, and why it’s gotten out of control.
Coming up with iPhone 7 specs
Getting rid of the home button from the iPhone 7 specs appears to have become common over the Summer when it became clear, based on strong rumors, that Apple would put Force Touch inside the Apple Watch. A source, who Apple Insider described as having “in the past has correctly shared information about Apple’s future product plans,” said that Apple was working on such a system. That story appeared on June 22.
Right after that story broke Patently Apple showed off a patent for Apple tech that would allow the display inside the device to read fingerprints through the screen. Apart from using the home button for commands, it is key for the Touch ID fingerprint system that Apple worked so hard to make popular.
It was clear, as we headed toward the release of an iPhone 6S with a Home button, that these changes wouldn’t come into Apple devices for quite a while. After the release of the iPhone 6S rumors about the iPhone 7 specs began to appear once again, and the idea of an iPhone 7 with no Home button has become a strong one.
On October 20 Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray became the first major Wall Street voice to take a look at the iPhone 7 specs. He said that Apple could be working on a version of the device with no home button. In his view Touch ID would move to the side of the iPhone 7, rather than onto the screen. He assigned a 50 percent chance of the design changing in that way by the iPhone 7 release date.
With more info about iPhone 7 specs out there concerning the Home Button than any other feature, the idea has caught the attention of concept designers. The video below shows one idea what the iPhone 7 specs will result in should the Home Button go the way of the keyboard.
Why can’t the iPhone 7 specs exclude home button?
It’s clear that there’s a lot of hype around the iPhone 7 lacking a Home Button, but it’s not clear why anybody really thinks it’s a likely design for the device.
The Apple Insider piece that appears to have launched the rumors about a device with no home button had the source explicitly state that it won’t make its way to the iPhone 7 specs sheet. The source said that Apple would bring that change no sooner than 2017.
On top of that, most of the changes that Apple would have to make in order to build an iPhone 7 with no Home Button are massive leaps of the sort the firm has never made before. Making a fingerprint scanner work through the display has never been done on a mass market device.
Though Apple could put Touch ID on the side of the iPhone 7, as Gene Munster and the concept video above forecast, the change still leaves Apple with a huge amount of screen problems.
Apple has yet to build a device that has an edge to edge screen in any way. The only reason for getting rid of the Home button among the iPhone 7 specs is to give the device a much bigger, or even top to bottom, screen. Apple still hasn’t been able to make a screen that goes edge-to-edge, and the firm tends to make changes like that one step at a time.
There’s a huge number of problems with displays that are truly edge to edge. Where does the speaker go? Where do you rest your fingers? How do you guard against minor bumps and bruises. On a normal phone a small tumble won’t hurt too much, on and edge to edge display it could mean a $200 repair bill.
The Sharp AQUOS Crystal, which went the route of making the smallest bezel it could, had all of these issues, and some more of its own thrown in.
This isn’t to say that Apple won’t work on edge-to-edge and top to bottom displays, or that the problems can’t be fixed. It seems like a huge leap for Apple to get rid of the Home Button next year, however, and we’ve seen no info that points to the firm really doing that just yet.
What proves iPhone 7 specs?
Apple might be working on iPhone 7 specs that do away with the Home Button, but we can’t say that with any certainty unless we see some kind of info that points in that direction. Here’s a look at the kinds of proof that work, and the kinds that don’t, when it comes to iPhone 7 specs.
Concept Videos are almost entirely useless in making a guess at iPhone 7 specs. They’re the work of third parties who have some rendering and 3D modelling skills. They add nothing but flavor to rumors that already exist, and any video that claims to be from Apple, or leaked, is very likely just looking for extra views.
Patents give an idea of what’s possible, but don’t point to what Apple might be working on. If patents were believed the iPhone 7 specs would include everything from a screen that’s curved to a 3D Interface, to an active bezel.
Supply chain reports come from unreliable sources in many cases, and they’re not to be trusted. Apple runs a lot of tests on iPhone designs before it releases the final version. Supply chain rumors can add evidence to rumors of what the firm is working on, but they’re not a guide in and of themselves.
Wall Street reports are a really mixed bag. Some, like Mr. Munster’s most recent report, don’t name any sources and may be little better than educated guess work. Others rely on real info from sources inside the supply chain. Before listening to a Wall Street iPhone 7 specs, you should know who you’re listening to, and what they’ve gotten right, and wrong, in the past.
Ming Chi Kuo is the only semi-reliable source of info on Apple’s supply chain, and he usually has a list of features out months before Apple launches a device. He’s not always right, but most of his info is correct. So far he’s only released one report on iPhone 7 specs. In his view the device will be much thinner than past releases from Apple, coming at between 6 and 6.5mm.
We’ll wait until he speaks out about the iPhone 7 specs more fully, and be watching closely for any mention of the Home button, before we pass judgement on this rumor but, for now, it’s only a slim possibility.