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(Pocket-lint) - The Apple iPhone 7 may do away with the home button at last, but not its fingerprint sensor.

Android devices have been appearing without home buttons for some time now. But Apple being Apple it isn't just going to copy. It looks like Apple will be turning the iPhone screen into a Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

We're taking this all with a pinch of a salt as the report comes from hit-and-miss rumour supplier DigiTimes. According to its sources Apple is currently working on a touch and display single-chip solution that will allow the entire front panel to act as a fingerprint scanner.

Apple recently introduced Apple Pay in the US which allows users to pay for items in shops using their iPhones. The fingerprint scanning of the Touch ID home button adds another layer of security. So it seems enlarging the screen and doing away with the home button will mean Apple also has to work a way around maintaining fingerprint reading.

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Being realistic this tech probably won't appear until a major iPhone overhaul, more likely in the iPhone 7. In the short term we'd expect the iPhone 6S to appear with largely the same build except with the addition of Force Touch, which now features in the Apple Watch and newer MacBooks.

The Apple iPhone 7 should arrive next year with the iPhone 6S expected this September.

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Writing by Luke Edwards.