If a new report out of Taiwan is an indication, Apple’s pressure sensitive Force Touch technology should make an appearance later this year on an iPhone, but exclusively on a bigger ‘iPhone 6s Plus’. Prior rumors have called for pressure-sensitive screen on both ‘iPhone 6’ and ‘iPhone 6 Plus’ this fall.
Pressure sensing marketed as Force Touch was first announced on the Apple Watch last fall, making its way later into the trackpad of the newly rolled out twelve-inch MacBook and updated MacBook Pro notebook. On the Watch, the feature taps tiny electrodes positioned around the screen which distinguish between a tap and a press.
The report identifies TPK and GIS as suppliers of Force Touch sensors for the iPhone 6s Plus, at a cost of $13 to $14 per module. That would be about 2.5 times more expensive than the estimated $4-$5 Force Touch sensors used on the Watch.
You’re advised to take the report with a grain of salt.
Watchful readers could easily point out that analyst ahead of last fall’s iPhone 6/Plus introduction were similarly predicting that only the bigger iPhone 6 model would have a sapphire-coated screen and be offered in a 128-gigabyte storage option.
The rumors didn’t pan out: both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus feature a non-sapphire screen and are being offered in 16, 64 and 128GB flavors.
Aside from the bigger screen, the iPhone 6 Plus does offer optical image stabilization as an exclusive feature, as opposed to its smaller sibling which uses lower-quality image stabilization in software.
For what it’s worth, revered analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities wrote in a note to client this morning that Apple may be jumping straight to an ‘iPhone 7’ this fall in order to indicate big changes revolving around major iOS user interface changes to accommodate Force Touch technology for better interaction.
He thinks the iPhone’s implementation of Force Touch will differ from that on the Apple Watch, the new MacBook and MacBook Pro. Specifically, he thinks Apple will place the pressure sensor under the touch panel’s backlight.
“We believe that iPhone’s Force Touch sensor doesn’t directly detect the pressure applied by fingers,” Kuo said. “Instead, it monitors the contact area on which the finger touches the screen to decide how big the pressure is.”
Source: UDN (Google Translate) via G for Games