Apple is on a never-ending quest of minimisation, and next in its sights is the humble home button.
The iPhone-maker has patented a phone design that integrates the fingerprint scanner – currently embedded in the home button – into the screen. Which would leave one fewer reason for the home button to exist.
The patent was actually filed by micro-LED display company LuxVue back in 2014, but has only just come to light.
Apple since bought the company, which suggests it could have found some use for the patent. iPhone 8, anyone?
The patent allows the fingerprint scanner to be placed beneath the phone's display. It would then use a micro light-emitting diode (LED) and an IR diode to read the fingerprint.
Of course, there's no guarantee we'll see this techn used in the iPhone 8.
But there have been a lot of rumours flying around suggesting Apple wants its new phone to be a solid slab of uninterrupted beauty, with nary a kink or button in sight.
This technology would be one way of it realising that vision.
The iPhone 8 is expected to launch in September, in keeping with previous years.
The handset is rumoured to come in three variants, with at least one of these offering wireless charging.