iPhone 8 release date, specs rumors: patent suggests Apple may ditch physical home button for a virtual one

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As early as now, reports have started to arrive online regarding the forthcoming iPhone 8. Whether it is because fans are already curious as to where Apple is taking their top-tier smartphone or because the iPhone 7 left so much to the imagination in terms of features, these latest rumors are already backed up by substantial proof. This includes a patent filed by the company that has surfaced recently.

Forbes cites that the new design incorporated in the home button of Apple’s latest top-tier iPhone is actually going to greater lengths for its successor. Instead of the iconic round home button, the Cupertino-based company is said to be ditching the physical key for a fully virtual design. The rumor makes sense given that Apple is said to have been tinkering with the possibility of rolling out an edge-to-edge OLED display for their smartphones moving forward.

Backing up the claim is that of a newly emerged patent that explains how fingerprint recognition would work despite the absence of a physical home button.

The copyright details that the Touch ID sensor will be embedded under the display and will have users just stamp on their fingerprint on the phone’s screen which will effectively prove how “capacitive sensors can be used to read a user’s fingerprint.” Dubbed as the “Capacitive fingerprint sensor including an electrostatic lens,” the patent was filed back in 2014 but has only been published recently by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (#9,460,332).

A hefty amount of expectation is already bestowed upon the shoulders of Apple and iPhone 8 given that it will be their 10th-anniversary release. Needless to say, this feature is not nearly as groundbreaking compared to the overall mobile market as some Android devices have already tapped into the said capability. Aside from the fingerprint scanner, an iris scanner is also said to be coming for the iPhone 8, something that has already been rolled out by their South Korean competitor, Samsung. Needless to say, the American tech giant can still improve on the feature which can ultimately have them take the credit for mainstreaming the capability.

No official release date has been confirmed for the iPhone 8 but like its predecessors, chances are it will drop sometime in September of next year.