2017 iPhone to feature edge-to-edge display, embedded Touch ID sensor?

In the latest episode of his podcast, The Talk Show, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has revealed “scuttlebutt” he’s heard regarding the long-term plans for the iPhone. In the discussion, Gruber confirms the wide range of rumors suggesting that this year’s iPhone model will likely remain in the same form factor as the prior iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s models, with a few distinguishing features to differentiate it. Gruber adds that he’s hesitant to even call this year’s model the “iPhone 7” right now for that reason, and suggests that this may be Apple’s first major departure from the traditional two-year ‘S” cycle, citing the iPhone SE as an example of an older design that’s now been used for a third time. Interestingly, Gruber also speculates that rumors about the dual-camera lens system only coming to the larger, 5-5-inch “Plus” iPhone model “doesn’t sound like Apple” and suggests that perhaps the rumor mill only has leaked schematics from the 5.5-inch iPhone and the 4.7-inch schematics haven’t leaked. While Gruber noted he was unwilling to “bet against it” as so much of the rumor mill has been suggesting it, the 4.7-inch iPhone is the best selling model, so it seems unusual that the dual-camera feature wouldn’t also be available on that unit.

Gruber’s comments on the 2017 iPhone model suggest a new, revolutionary design.

I think next year’s phone — the 2017 model — the one that will come out in September of 2017. What I have heard — now this is not really from the rumor mill this is more just scuttlebutt that I’ve heard — is that it will be an all-new form factor, and there have been some rumours, I guess, that say this, but what I’m saying is I’ve heard this independently, that it will completely get rid of the chin and forehead on the phone and the entire front face will be the display …. and that the Touch ID sensor will be somehow embedded in the display, the front-facing camera will somehow be embedded in the display, the speaker, everything. All the sensors will be somehow behind the display.

What I don’t know — I have no idea — but whether that means that they’re going to shrink the actual thing in your hand to fit the screen sizes we already have, or whether they’re going to grow the screens to fit the devices we’re already used to holding? I don’t know.

I think 2017 is going to be the jaw-dropping, ‘Wow, that’s an astounding industrial design iPhone.’

Notably, 2017 will also be the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, a milestone that may indicate an opportune time for Apple to make major changes to the iPhone’s design. [via MacRumors]

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