Apple is expected to adopt the iPhone X design across 2018’s iPhone models, but the company is now suspected to potentially ditch the 3D Touch pressure-sensing display feature from all 2019 iPhone models with an OLED screen.
Barclays analysts wrote in their research note to investors, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, that it’s “widely understood” among key supply chain players that 3D Touch will be removed from all OLED iPhones to be released in 2019.
This includes a third-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X and a second-generation 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus. The analysts caution the plans aren’t finalized yet so they could change. The prediction is based on the information that Barclays analysts gathered during their recent tour key Asian companies within Apple’s supply chain.
Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier in the year that 3D Touch won’t be a feature on the rumored LCD-based iPhone model with a 6.1-inch screen that’s allegedly releasing this year alongside a second-generation iPhone X and so-called iPhone X Plus.
Take this rumor with a grain of salt.
3D Touch hasn’t fulfilled its full potential, but it’s not clear why Apple would remove this feature while continuing to spend resources on enhancing iOS’s software features that use 3D Touch.
In iOS 12, for example, there are some new Home screen 3D Touch shortcuts. On the other hand, it can be argued that most of the 3D Touch shortcuts can be easily replicated with longer taps, save for a few exceptions like pressing the keyboard to enter the text selection mode.
The clearest indication that Apple might in fact be prepping to remove 3D Touch hardware from the entire iPhone lineup is a new feature in iOS 12 that lets owners of non-3D Touch phones to tap and hold the Space bar to enter the virtual trackpad mode.
It works great and proves that precise cursor movement is possible without 3D Touch. Yet another sign that 3D Touch may indeed be going away soon: iOS 12 no longer supports 3D Touch-based app switching.
Removing the 3D Touch feature would also allow Apple to earn a bit more money per each iPhone sold because a layer of 96 pressure-sensing sensors between the display and the backlit module doesn’t come cheap, plus it adds weight and increases display thickness.