Apple has long been rumored to be considering getting rid of the iPhone's home button, which also doubles as a fingerprint sensor, but not a single one of those rumors have ever materialized in a real iPhone.

On Monday, a Taiwanese news outlet brought the old rumors back to life with a new report claiming Apple is developing in-house touch and display driver integration (TDDI) single-chip solutions that will also include an integrated fingerprint sensor, which opens the potential for Apple remove the physical home button.

"The TDDI single-chip solutions will also come with integrated fingerprint sensors, said the sources," reports DigiTimes. "The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs - models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the home button."

DigiTimes is not exactly known for its accurate reports about the comings and goings of the iPhone maker, but it has from time to time predicted what new products or product features Apple was planning to release. The report is also corroborated by Apple Insider, which cites a source who has provided accurate Apple information in the past.

Apple Insider's source says the company is certainly planning on getting rid of the home button, but it still has to overcome a major challenge before it can fully say farewell to the physical hardware component. Specifically, Apple is still figuring out how to seamlessly integrate its Touch ID fingerprint sensor into the display without racking up the cost of iPhone production and using the existing technology currently available.

This is a major stumbling block that is preventing Apple from making headway into a home button-less iPhone, which is why it is not likely Apple's fans will be seeing the next new iPhone without a home button and with a fingerprint sensor integrated into the display. It is also very possible that we will not be seeing the new technology even in the iPhone 7.

What is possible, however, is we will most likely see an iPhone that does not have the home button at an unspecific time in the future. The rumors about Apple removing the physical button on the front panel are not without merit, since Apple has expressed interest through a patent application for a technology that embeds a device's fingerprint sensor right into the device's display.

In 2012, Apple acquired AuthenTec, a company that has done major research in fingerprint sensor technology. Following the acquisition, Apple unveiled Touch ID in the iPhone 5s in 2013. 

Amid all this, it will be best to treat everything with a grain of salt as patents do not necessarily translate to products for these companies.

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