The next-generation iPhone and iPad could be missing one of the key features of their predecessors - the Home button.

 A report on the Boy Genius Report website claims that one of its Apple sources has said that support for multi-touch gestures in iOS 4.3, released this week in beta form to developers, will remove the need for a home button on the iPad 2.

Instead, navigating to the home screen and launching the app switcher will be done by gestures on the second-generation iPad. The Home button is likely to be removed on the iPhone 5 too, the report claims.

Rumours about the iPad 2 have gathered strength in the past week, with claims that an announcement is imminent and is likely to be followed by a launch in early February.

However, we've heard less about the iPhone 5 in recent weeks, other than that its antenna could be moved to behind the Apple logo in order to deal with the death grip suffered by iPhone 4 handsets.

The removal of the Home button does, on the surface, seem quite hard to believe but as the BGR article points out, Steve Jobs reportedly wasn't keen on having any physical buttons on the original iPhone.