Your Next iPhone May Have a Virtual Home Button

Apple is reportedly working blending display and touch technology in a way that would allow for reading fingerprints without needed the iPhone's Touch ID Home button. The new technology would let Apple drop the current physical Home button found on all iPhones and iPads, and replace it with a virtual version on the device's display.

Future iPhones could include virtual Touch ID Home buttonsFuture iPhones could include virtual Touch ID Home buttons

Insider sources from Taiwan said Apple is working on a touch and display driver integration (TDDI) chip. Those sources, speaking with DigiTimes, said the chips will include built-in fingerprint sensors and are supposed to go into future iPhone models.

Assuming the sources are right, Apple could extend the iPhone's screen to fill the space currently occupied by the Home button, giving us bigger displays without having to increase the overall size of the phone.

DigiTimes has a hit-and-miss track record with its insider news on Apple, and Apple CEO Tim Cook has warned against jumping to conclusions about his company's plans based on the limited information parts suppliers give. Still, the idea of a virtual Home button with Touch ID support is compelling, and hopefully is something we eventually will see on the iPhone.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]