Following a report earlier this month claiming that production has already began on the next-generation iPhone, a new rumor suggests that it will be receiving a slightly redesigned Home button. If you were anticipating a redesigned oval-shaped capacitive touch Home button, then prepare to be disappointed (again, bearing in mind just how often this rumor has been regurgitated time and time again). The new rumored home button seems to have little aesthetic difference from the existing home button on the 4S.
However, there is bizarrely a rounded square that surrounds the entire button – which is still circular – like a border. It is unclear what difference this will make to the user. Again, the actual button is still circular, it just appears to have this unusual rounded border.
To compare and contrast, above is a photo of the existing iPhone 4S home button, and below is the purported iPhone “5” Home button(s) which is up for grabs on the online reseller TVC Mall.
Personally, I’m quite relieved to see that the Home button is not being radically revamped, at least not as an oval. I also hope that Apple will be continue to use glass – and not brushed aluminum or stainless steel – for the chassis of the device. I’m of the likely unpopular opinion that Apple has perfectly nailed the device as it is now; it feels very well-built and great in the hands, and this is a combination of the materials used to build the device as well as its form factor. Perhaps I feel this way because every mockup ever made of what the device could look like if radically redesigned is atrocious. And since I’m on a roll, bashing tasteless expectations of the device, let me also emphasize that we will not be seeing a larger screen in the next iPhone. I don’t even have to fear for this one, as it’s just not going to happen.
What I would like to see in the next iPhone, however, are the far more probably under-the-hood improvements, such as real 4G LTE, a better CPU, improved graphics, a better camera, and a more powerful battery to accommodate these improvements (especially the addition of LTE.) I’m unsure of how a thinner profile would impact the device’s feel in-hand. If too thin, it could be uncomfortable to hold, but I trust that if Apple makes it thinner, they’d keep this possibility at the forefront of their mind while designing the device.
The next iPhone is expected to hit the shelves sometime later this year; rumors suggest around October.