Where is the iPhone going next? With all the hype and speculation focussed on the front of the iPhone 8, can Apple innovate on the back of the next iPhone as well?
The active cycle of speculation on the iPhone 8 suggests many new features being added to the phone, from a curved-at-the-edges OLED screen, to a chin-less bottom bezel, a home button with Touch ID integrated under the screen, wireless charging, better Bluetooth connectivity, an improved camera, and more.
I agree, the usefulness and inventiveness of Touch Zones seems to advance Apple's penchant for integration simplification, and clean lines. When you consider a curved-at-the-edges OLED screen, and placement of the Home button and volume keys, Touch Zones make sense. The screen can extend to the bottom of the phone and host an integrated Home button and Touch ID sensor under the screen. The physical volume keys can be replaced by Touch Zones on the side of phone where the screen wraps to the side of the device.
However, Touch Zones on the rear of the device may be more problematic.
If Apple chooses to innovate with an all-glass case on the iPhone 8, as has been rumoured, then the patent application for Touch Zones could be implemented on the device for volume buttons, and other features.
If we look at the use case of a touch zone on the rear of the phone, these could be used for swiping, pressing, turning pages in Flipboard, swiping left in Mail to delete a message, and so on. All good use cases. However, once your lovely new iPhone is in your hand, you want to protect it, shield it from damage, and almost everyone buys a protective case from Apple or a third party case vendor.
The case would then need to have a cut-out on the back to allow your finger in to reach the touch zone on the rear of the phone. Alternatively, it would need a conductive area to transfer your finger movements from the case to the rear touch zone on the phone.
Not to mention, the Touch Zone would be obscured completely by battery cases such as Apple's own hump-back Smart Battery Case.
We shall have to wait and see how Touch Zones are applied.
Until next time,
XYZ Media Group