The endless amount of talk regarding Apple's forthcoming iPhone 8 has been nothing short of rumor-staggering. A fair amount of the information seems quite likely, and has given way to any number of new ideas Apple could incorporate. The amazing feat of building the home button with Touch ID directly into the glass is looking more like one iPhone's new realities. But in doing so, it presents a basic problem. How does a user quickly and easily locate the home button on an all-glass, sleep mode display?
The rumored optical solution for Touch ID requires a fixed touch point on the glass to engage, thus, exactly where to place a finger could become a potential nuisance if Apple does not provide an easy way to locate that area. However, if Apple is indeed moving to OLED displays within iPhone 8, the solution may be amazingly simple. Simply leave a home button ring on at all times.
With Apple's current use of LCD displays, leaving any area of the display on 24/7 is not practical due to massive battery drain. An LCD's backlight and panel is either all on or all off, regardless of the panel being mostly black, white, or any color in-between, the entire LCD display is using power to shift each pixel in one direction or another. With OLED displays, only pixels exhibiting a color (other than black, which is completely off in an OLED display), use power. The ability for Apple to produce only a faint white Home Button ring while in sleep mode would utilize hardly any power, as the rest of the entire display is off. The ring is always there, always on and easy to locate.
It would seem a likely approach for Apple, as it would immediately brand iPhone 8. On a desk, a conference room table or an airplane tray, anyone seeing an all-glass display with lit ring will instantly know "Oh, new iPhone 8." That is powerful marketing I doubt Apple would pass up. Not only would the ring become an iconic feature to iPhone 8, it would be undoubtedly cool looking, while serving a very basic, logical function. All this adds up into value, and Apple almost always excels when it is able to sell value, not price. Just one more reason I'm looking forward to all of iPhone 8's new technologies and how they can – or will – be deployed.
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