A newly granted patent suggests Apple may move fingerprint scanning from the Home button to the touch screen. Spotted by the Patently Apple blog, the filing describes a process by which a "capacitative fingerprint sensor" within the touch screen could detect the ridges and valleys of a unique fingerprint.
In the filing, Apple writes that moving the fingerprint sensor away from the Home button is important to avoid "assigning valuable surface space exclusively to a component that may only be used briefly during the process of identifying the user." This suggests Apple would soon like to do away with the Home button altogether. Indeed, reports from earlier this summer say that the 2017 iPhone will abandon the button. RP