In the past, there have been rumors that Apple would be abandoning its circular home button on a speculated next-generation iPhone 5 hardware, but in making the move would Apple give Samsung ammunition in a lawsuit? The two smartphone-makers have been engaged in a bitter and public legal dispute spanning multiple countries since April where Apple is making claims that Samsung’s Android smartphones and tablets are infringing on the design and patents of the iPhone and iPad.
Though buttons on a touchscreen-centric device are nothing new, Apple did introduce to the world a minimalist design of just a single touchscreen and a singular home button on the front fascia of a smartphone when the original iPhone was introduced in 2007.
However, in the years that ensued, Samsung had pursued, at least on the international version of its flagship Galaxy smartphones, a similar design with a singular rectangular home button with curved corners that is flanked by two capacitive buttons for the menu and back functions on either side of the home button. Given that Samsung’s home button, with its rectangular shape, is an elongated home button, would it stand that Apple could potentially infringe on a Samsung design if it had changed to an elongated oval home button?
That issue may be put to rest, at least temporarily, as Apple is now speculated to be utilizing the same iPhone 4 design on its iPhone 5 with a similar round home button, preserving the classic design that’s appeared since the original iPhone’s debut in 2007. However, if the iPhone released after this year’s iPhone comes with an elongated button, will Samsung sue?