Depending on when you read this, Apple is either about to reveal its new iPhone or it has just done so. It is the time of year when the company’s roadshow rolls into town and everyone gets incredibly excited about what new technologies the latest phone will introduce to revolutionise our lives.

At least, that’s the way it is supposed to work. Recent advances in smartphones have proven to be somewhat underwhelming so it would seem that Apple needs to pull something pretty spectacular out of the bag in order to impress us this year.

As per usual, the rumour mill has been churning out a steady stream of supposed leaks and speculation about just what those new headline-grabbing feature might be, chief among them being a new display that will cover almost the entire front of the phone. As bets go, this a fairly safe one because it would really only be a case of Apple matching the advances made in other top-level smartphones.

Extending the display to the very edges of the phone leaves no room for a home button and this is where compromises start to drift in. Apple caused controversy when it removed the standard headphone jack from its phones last year, a move that coincided nicely with its new line of wireless Bluetooth headphones, so it is clearly prepared to take away things we all think we need.

Over the decade of the iPhone’s existence, the home button has evolved into something far more than a quick way to get us out of an app. It contains the crucial fingerprint scanner that keeps our phones secure and a long press of it invokes the iPhone’s voice assistant Siri that almost literally nobody ever uses. What will happen to those features?

The technology of unlocking our phones with a fingerprint is set to become a small moment in the history of smartphone technology because the new iPhone will be recognising us by our face – hopefully more successfully and securely than recent attempts by other companies that were spoofed by holding up a photograph.

Siri is said to be moving to the smaller, much less easily accessed power button on the side of the phone. These seem like concessions that are being made just to give us an extra couple of centimetres of screen space and I wonder if they are worth it. My own iPhone 6 Plus is now three years old which is nothing less than an eternity in the smartphone era.

Like many of us, I use my phone endlessly throughout the day and while it might be starting to show its age in terms or raw power compared to a modern operating system, I cannot honestly say that I have ever wished the space occupied by the home button would disappear in favour of a bit more depth to the already massive display.

Are we on the verge of a major leap in phone technology? If we are, it is difficult to see where that leap might be coming from. Apple is known to be heavily invested in augmented reality (AR) which overlays computer graphics on to the real world through the phone’s lens. Is there some knockout application for this technology beyond mapping and navigation that has so far not occurred to anyone else?

We will soon know. One thing seems to be for certain: if you want to find out first hand be prepared for a hefty financial outlay. The strong rumour is that the higher-level new iPhones will come with a price tag some way north of £1,000. Ouch.