The iPhone 7 is expected to have another new component in addition to the headphone jack that will further distinguish it from the iPhone 6s. According to a report by Japanese site Wei Feng, the new phone will not have a physical home button. It will, instead, have a touchpad that simulates the feeling of a physical button.
Citing supply chains and a report on Macotakara, the site claims the home button will be a new 3D Touch-compatible pad that will provide tactile feedback to simulate a physical button. This design will eliminate the gap that the current home button causes when pressed. This gap currently allows water to seep in which can cause damage to internal components. The waterproofness of the phone should increase with the new button. Plus the internal components behind the button will likely be slimmer since there will not be a physical button. The site says this might help Apple reduce the thickness of the phone too. The pad is expected to be still be located on the bottom bezel and have a ring around it that matches the color of the phone.
This is not the first time we have heard that Apple is changing the home button on the iPhone 7. The rumor has been circulating for a couple of months will no real hard evidence. Most of the leaked pictures for the new phone show the rear aluminum shell without the display attached. The headphone jack is part of the frame, which we can confirm is absent, but the home button is part of an assembled display. We have only seen one phone with the rear shell, front display, and touchpad home button. As we get closer to the launch of the iPhone, we should see more fully assembled displays that weigh into the argument around the new home button.
The iPhone 7 is expected to be announced at a special media event in early September alongside the Apple Watch 2 and potentially a new iPad mini. The phone will be powered by the A10 processor, have a starting storage capacity of 32GB, and have a slightly larger battery.