Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone 8 or iPhone X is going to get rid of the physical home button. It means the company will have to find a new home for the fingerprint scanner on a bezel-less OLED display. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports that the iPhone 8 would feature a new “function area” at the bottom of the display. The function area is said to house virtual buttons.
New biometric technologies to replace Touch ID
Kuo says the iPhone 8 would have a screen size of 5.8-inch, and in terms of dimensions, it would be no bigger than the 4.7-inch iPhone 7. The edge-to-edge OLED screen would allow Apple to pack a larger display in a relatively smaller form factor. Since the function area would sit at the bottom of the screen, it would replace the home button and Touch ID.
The analyst told investors that the Touch ID would be replaced by new biometric technologies for security and authentication. Recent reports indicate that the 10th anniversary iPhone would feature a 3D laser sensing module to support facial recognition and augmented reality. Earlier this week, Apple was granted a patent for a micro-LED display that can detect touch events and authenticate fingerprints with the help of specialized infrared diodes.
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The phone will have only 5.15-inch active display area
Though the iPhone 8 would feature a 5.8-inch display, the actual display area will be only 5.15-inch. The remaining real estate would be dedicated to the system functions. Kuo’s prediction corroborates with a report from the New York Times last year claiming that the next-gen iPhone would sport virtual buttons rather than physical controls. It is said to be similar in style to the OLED Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro.
Ming-Chi Kuo did not elaborate on how the function area would be implemented. Apple Insider says the Cupertino company could hardcode a set of static, always-on system controls into iOS. It is unclear whether the function area would switch to an active display mode when you are playing games or watching videos. Apple is rumored to equip the iPhone 8 with a combination of the fingerprint scanner and facial recognition.
iPhone 8 to have a 2700mAh battery
In his previous research report, Ming-Chi Kuo told investors that the 10th anniversary iPhone would pack a huge 2,700mAh battery. By comparison, the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 comes with a 1,950 battery pack. An energy-efficient OLED display coupled with a larger battery should help Apple address one of the biggest concerns of iPhone users. Apple will use a stacked logic board called a “substrate-like PCB mainboard” to accommodate the bigger battery.
KGI Securities told investors that the iPhone 8 would have a starting price of $1,000. By comparison, the top of the line 256GB iPhone 7 Plus costs $969. Kuo attributed the price hike to a 50% to 60% rise in production costs due to OLED display, wireless charging, improved waterproofing, and other new features.