Steve Jobs once famously said, "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and follower." That quote by the father of the iPhone highlights the importance of innovation. But it is not something that points to the next iPhone model.
Instead of opting innovation, Apple is preparing to offer the best through the tenth anniversary iPhone, which is likely to be called the iPhone 8. The best experience would come from a minimal design that will not have room for bezels either even a home button. This will make the new handset a completely transformed iPhone from its predecessors.
Some recent reports have already suggested that Apple is in plans to bring three new iPhone models to the market. But among the trio, the top-end model -- originally rumoured as the iPhone X -- is expected to be the unique in the entire iPhone lineup till date. The Cupertino giant is likely to leverage the intelligence of its multiple teams to build a fresh experience.
As per the iOS 11 code, the iPhone 8 will sport a facial recognition sensor to unlock the screen by mapping users' face. This biometric integration will limit the functionality of a Touch ID sensor that has been featured across all iPhone models since the launch of the iPhone 5s in 2013. Also, the enhanced support will abandon the need for a home button to some extent by letting users unlock the screen by simply using their face.
The frontal panel of the new iPhone thus has no space for the home button, as Bloomberg News reveals in its latest report. The Cupertino giant is reportedly settling the user experience with some on-screen gesture controls to fulfill the requirement of a home button.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that Apple is deploying a thin software bar that could be dragged into the middle of the screen to wake the display up. The presence of iOS 11 will additionally uplift the existing multitasking interface with a series of standalone cards instead of the stack of cards that appears on the screen with a double-click on the home button. The upgraded multitasking window is said to work right with the newly built software bar.
Eliminating the home button is as significant and challenging for Apple as removing the headphone jack from its last year's iPhone models. The company will need to teach its current users a new way to use their next iPhone. Likewise, it may face taunts by Android competitors that are already deploying on-screen controls on their offerings.
But reforming the original experience is indeed the need of the hour for Apple. The iPhone maker faced criticism for using the same design aesthetics for the last three years. Additionally, there wasn't any niche alternative available to the multifunctional home button.
Having said that, the removal of the home button brings Apple's iPhone range to the button-less world. The company notably planned that move several months back -- by adding a touch bar to its new MacBook Pro models.
Moving parallel with competition
Ever since the launched of the first-generation iPhone model in June 2007, Apple has made a pattern of offering a special surprise. Whether you look at the iPhone 5 with a very first reversible Lightning port or a fingerprint sensor-equipped iPhone 5s or a dual-camera setup equipped iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone models have so far been the trendsetters. But the next iPhone is likely to be more inclined towards the competition.
There are technologies such as wireless charging and OLED display that the new iPhone will borrow from its competitors. Moreover, the fresh model is speculated to have high-end storage options, likely to be 128GB and 256GB versions, to support the ongoing demand.
Apple is formally unveiling the iPhone 8 on September 12. In the meantime, you can presume some buzz around its features.