The iPhone has evolved in many ways over the years but the one constant – the physical Home button – remains largely unchanged. That may soon be changing according to the latest scuttlebutt from DigiTimes.

Sources in Taiwan’s semiconductor industry claim Apple is developing new touch and display driver integration (TDDI) single-chip solutions for its iPhones. These chips are said to include fingerprint sensors meaning the entire front panel of the iPhone could be used to unlock the device, authorize payments and so on.

Eliminating the Home button would free up a ton of extra real estate on the front of the iPhone which Apple could either fill with more screen or eliminate completely for a slimmer device. Apple is known for its rather large top and bottom bezels and being able to reduce their footprint certainly makes sense.

The report suggests Apple is interested in developing more of its chips in-house. As you know, the Cupertino-based company already custom designs the A-series processors used in the iPhone and iPad. If true, the decision could have a significant impact on the global semiconductor industry (Apple suppliers), sources said.

DigiTimes doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to Apple rumors although they have been accurate at times. The removal of the Home button also isn’t a new idea but thus far, it hasn’t happened. As always, it’s advised to take rumors with a healthy dose of salt.