MANILA - Apple is removing the home button on its upcoming iPhone 8, changing the way millions use one of the world's most popular smartphones, according to a Bloomberg report.
A thin "software bar" at the bottom of the screen will replace the home button, which iPhone users have used for 10 years to unlock their device, switch between applications and call out the digital assistant, Siri, according to the report, which cited sources and images of the device.
The virtual navigation buttons will be "similar" to the dock that rests on the bottom of new iPad screens running Apple's latest mobile software iOS11, the report said.
Apple is expected to unveil 3 iPhones at its annual showcase in September. The top-tier iPhone 8 will be similar in size to the current iPhone 7, but the screen will occupy almost the entire front of the device that will reportedly cost as much as $1,000 (P51,000), according to the report.
The all-screen design will bring Apple at par with rival Samsung, which is following up its Galaxy S8 and S8+ with the Galaxy Note 8 next month.
Apple's iPhone 8 will allow users to unlock their devices using facial recognition. Improved cameras will allow augmented reality apps, according to images seen by Bloomberg.
The device will switch to the metal and glass design last seen on the iPhone 4s in 2011. Apple has used an aluminum shell for the iPhone 5 in 2012 until last year's iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
Apple is also expected launch next month the iPhone 7s and 7s plus, featuring almost the same screen and dimensions, except that it is encased in glass, according to reports.