New HTC Smartphone To Lose The Home Button

We reckon that Apple's Steve Jobs is keen on cutting the home button from both the iPhone 5 and the iPad 2, and now we hear that HTC may be planning to do the same.

Phandroid has unearthed a picture of what could be the first HTC device without a home button, carrying the distinctive Verizon logo as well as the HTC Sense Live wallpaper.

It doesn't have any characteristic features, not even a front facing camera or any visible sensors. Phandroid, which got hold of the picture via HTC's Sync, says that this could be the Merge.

We know for a fact that Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) won't need a home button to work and that gesture commands could replace front-facing buttons completely on the phone.

How fast will that happen? It will probably depend on market adoption. It also raises another interesting question for HTC; are they going to launch that Honeycomb tablet soon?