Samsung may be exploring alternative designs for its smartphones’ fingerprint sensors.
The evidence can be seen in two new patent filings. One shows a circular home button for a smartphone, which would mark a turn from the current oblong shape of its Galaxy devices’ home buttons. As SamMobile and Android Headlines point out, this could spark yet another lawsuit from Apple, since the design could be interpreted as copying Apple’s circular home button, but it isn’t yet clear whether Samsung will actually go ahead with the design in an upcoming device.
Meanwhile, another patent shows a design the decouples the fingerprint scanner from the home button entirely, instead placing the scanner on the rear of the device. While this isn’t a popular design, it’s not so unusual, having made appearances in devices like Lenovo’s K5 Note.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Samsung will go ahead with that design, either—like Apple, the company often files patents just in case.