Is Apple getting rid of the iPhone’s home button?


Apple could be looking to remove the home button from its iPhone, according to reports.

First it was the 3.5mm headphone jack to get the axe, and now it could be the home button that controls pretty much every iota of iPhone life.

Apple has informed app developers that, starting in April, all new apps submitted to the App Store must support the iPhone X’s ultra-HD display.

The iPhone X is the first iPhone to do away with the home button, with its edge-to-edge, button-less screen. To go to the home screen, users must swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

Button-less iPhones could be a sign of things to come, and Apple’s email to developers also encouraged that apps should take advantage of new tools introduced in iOS 11 – ‘SiriKit’ and ‘ARKit’.

These tools for developers could mean a better implementation of voice control and augmented reality in apps in the future, especially with the release of Apple’s ‘HomePod’. HomePod is a voice-controlled device from Apple, similar to that of Google Home.

This news comes after Apple informed its suppliers that it was cutting iPhone production targets in half. This may have been due to a fall in iPhone sales, despite Apple announcing its biggest quarterly profit of all time earlier this month.

With the iPhone X retailing for over AUD $1,500 and phone plans often costing over $100 a month, this may have been predictable.

In any case, time and time again Apple has proven to be a leader in tech, despite riling up consumers. The removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack was met with controversy, and now no one contends with headphone wires, using ‘Air Pods’ instead. The button-less iPhone could spur on a new wave of full-screen smartphones with less hardware bits to malfunction.

Will iPhone users be put off?

With another major change to iPhones potentially coming soon, the loyalty of Apple’s customers looks set to be challenged. A recent Canstar Blue survey found that 56% of smartphone users always buy the same brand, with familiarity the most commonly reported reason for doing so. The survey also rated smartphone brands on customer satisfaction, with OPPO – a brand known for producing ‘iPhone-like’ handsets – coming out on top for value for money and overall customer satisfaction. Apple was rated highest for user-friendliness.

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