People around the globe waited in long lines to be among the first to purchase both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. The phones offer longer battery life, faster browsing, a better camera and do not have a traditional headphone jack. People around the globe waited in long lines to be among the first to purchase both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. The phones offer longer battery life, faster browsing, a better camera and do not have a traditional headphone jack. People around the globe waited in long lines to be among the first to purchase both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. The phones offer longer battery life, faster browsing, a better camera and do not have a traditional headphone jack. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The latest design rumor that has iPhone fans buzzing

How Apple will eliminate the touch button and replace with a 'function area.'

Another day, another iPhone 8 rumor. Today's, though, is quite a doozy: Apple is said to be doing away with the device's touch button in favor of a "function area" at the bottom of the device that will likely sport virtual "always on" buttons.

This news comes just weeks after we learned that the new iPhone may actually have a bendable screen.

Apple, a notoriously secretive company, has been hard at work on the new model for months. In a sign of the resources it has allocated to its development, the company apparently turned to its 180,000-square-foot Mediterranean R&D lab in the coastal Israeli city of Herzliya to develop the phone's hardware.

The device is also expected to have a 5.8-inch OLED panel similar in style to the current 4.7-inch iPhone 7, though only about 5.1 inches will be for the display with the rest reserved for the "function area."

The news was first reported after KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, well known for his intelligence gathering within Apple's Asian supply chain, sent a note to the company's investors full of his latest iPhone 8 intel.

The three iPhone 8 models expected to be released this year will have more dedicated screen space than the iPhone 7.The three iPhone 8 models expected to be released this year will have more dedicated screen space than the iPhone 7. (Photo: KGI Research)

Rumors have been circulating pretty much since the release of the iPhone 7 last year that the eighth iteration, which marks the 10th anniversary of the phone, would upend past designs. Doing away with the touch button would undoubtedly deliver on that promise.

Of course all these upgrades mean it'll cost you. Kuo estimates the iPhone 8, with an expected release date later this year, will start at $1,000.

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