iPhone 8 to get ‘function area’ like MacBook Touch Bar?

The iPhone 8 (or perhaps the iPhone 7S?) is going to feature a dedicated “function area” at the bottom of the screen, apparently.

That’s the word from reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who describes how we’ll see  a much higher screen-to-body ratio on the iPhone 8 thanks to the supposed removal of the Home button. This, in turn, will force Apple to embed extra functionality within the display.

According to the KGI analyst, we’ll see something akin to the OLED Touch Bar on a new Apple MacBook Pro, whereby a dedicated strip near the bottom of the display will be used to show “virtual buttons”. And there’s every chance that these buttons may change depending on the app you’re using, as is the case with the MacBook Touch Bar.

Check out the attached image, courtesy of KGI Research:

iphone function

And here’s Kuo’s investor note:

“The most apparent change of the OLED iPhone will be a full-screen design, along with the elimination of the Home button and current fingerprint recognition technology. Of particular note is that we expect the OLED iPhone will adopt a 5.8-inch physical OLED panel. But the actual display area will be around 5.15-inches, and the rest will be an area for functions (e.g. allocation of virtual buttons”.

Apple is expected to unveil its next flagship iPhone later this year, likely at the usual dedicated September event in California. It’s rumoured that we’ll see three different iPhone models, including one with an OLED screen – a first for the iPhone.

Apple has long been expected to shift to OLED screens; after all, Samsung has been using the tech for years in Galaxy phones. The advantage of OLED is that its pixels produce their own light, negating the need for a backlight, as is the case with a traditional LCD screen. This (1) saves power, and (2) allows you to turn individual pixels off, allowing the display to showcase more true blacks.

Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t confirmed any such move yet, so take this report with due caution – Kuo’s predictions aren’t guaranteed to come true.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S8

Watch: iPhone 8 – What to expect

What would you like to see from the iPhone 8? Let us know in the comments.