iPhone 7 Force touch home button
iPhone 7 might not have the physical home buttonReuters

Apple's 2016 flagship iPhone could be equipped with a Force Touch home button, believe analysts. This means there will not be any physical button that is found in the current models. Instead, the home button would sit flush with the phone.

Apple is expected to ditch the physical mechanism in favour of its Force Touch technology and a motor inside the iPhone 7 to provide users with the sensation that the button is being pressed. The latest rumour comes from analysts at financial services firm Cowen and Company quoted by Business Insider. Cowen cites "field checks" to back up its claim.

The latest rumours are in line with a blurry leaked photo of the iPhone 7 that surfaced earlier in June. The leak shows a tweaked home button that appears to be flat with the bezel, suggesting Apple will replace the physical click with a fully touch-sensitive capacitive home button.

Removing the physical button would help Apple to make the new iPhone fully waterproof, while removing the gaps that could let water and debris enter the chassis. The new button is expected to work very much like the existing home button only with a simple tap on the screen.

The new button might incorporate 3D touch pressure-sensitivity to be distinguished between light touches and deep pressure. The features would also help the new iPhone stand apart from its predecessors and help the new iPhone look like a "single sheet of glass".

Cowen analysts also believe the iPhone 7 would be without a headphone jack. More than 300,000 people have signed a petition urging Apple to retain the standard headphone jack.