Or Sir Jonathan Ive as Apple's lead designer is more formally called. This rumor is generated from the AppleInsider online forums, in a post from a regular contributor, HyteProsector.
The starting point is the recently announced executive shakeup at Apple, with Scott Forstall, the longtime senior VP of iOS software, ousted and his duties split up among a trio of former colleagues. One of them is Ive, who has been in charge of the iPhone's physical design and now also takes on responsibility for the phone's overall "user interface."
HyteProsector writes that "Jony made the prototype that I'm about to explain (Roughly 18-22 months ago) but it was shut down. The prototype was for an iPhone with an ovular home button had capacitive touch functions as well." HyteProsector thinks Ive now will, and should, resurrect the idea, which essentially seems to be creating a larger-surfaced home button that is itself a tiny touch-screen.
The pressing need for an elongated iPhone home button has been debated for years, but not usually with a capacitive touch feature.
Current, HyteProsector says, "the top of the [iPhone's] screen is used for navigation, a 'Back' button of sorts. Why not remove the 'Back' button and put its functionality on the home button. No more 'Back' buttons and a cleaner UI. Also ... wanna skip a track on your iPod and leave the device in your pocket? Swipe the home button. Again, forward and back in Safari? Swipe."
He says he's been thinking about this for "over a year now." And he invites other forum members to comment. At this writing, only one has taken him up on it. Tallest Skil makes two pointed points: First, "Can you say 'accidental touches'?" And second, "What happens when the person breaks the button? Because people break their Home Buttons all the dang time. Then not only can they not get to the Springboard, they can't even get back within their applications."
iPhone 6 will be pretty lousy
"iPhone 6 Might Suffer From Apple's 'Lack of Recent Innovation'" is the headline for Craig Galbraith's post at ChannelPartnersOnline.com.
"Have sales of the iconic iPhone finally reached a tipping point?" he asks. "A new survey indicates that fewer Apple enthusiasts might not be as committed to buying the iPhone 6, or whatever the 2013 version of the device will be called."