Fall iPhone refresh may remove 3D Touch from all 2019 models

Posted:
in iPhone
The 2019 iPhone refresh could see the wholesale removal of 3D Touch from all models, a supply chain report claims, with the tactile touchscreen interaction potentially switched out for Haptic Touch across the three models due this fall.

3D Touch quick actions on an iPhone XS
3D Touch quick actions on an iPhone XS


The iPhone's 3D Touch has been a long-term feature of the smartphone over the last few years, providing users with the ability to access a select number of functions from an app without opening it conventionally. The ability to bring up the menu may not necessarily be available for the 2019 launches, however.

According to industry sources of DigiTimes, long-term Apple suppliers TPK Holding and General Interface Solution are tipped to see sales grow in the second half of 2019. The same sources also claim "Apple may remove 3D Touch sensors from all 2019 iPhone devices."

In the current generation, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max offer 3D Touch capabilities, while the challenges of producing the iPhone XR's edge-to-edge LCD display meant it had to use a new similar interface type called Haptic Touch. If the report is right, this could mean 3D Touch could be replaced by Haptic Touch on all iPhone models due this year.

Reports from DigiTimes have mixed results in terms of predicting what actually makes it into future Apple product launches, so there is a chance it may be incorrect. However, switching away from 3D Touch may be beneficial to Apple as it removes the need to include pressure sensitivity to the iPhone display, saving space inside the case as well as the cost of production.

Despite the alleged removal of 3D Touch, report sources claim the companies will see strong sales due to continued orders for legacy iPhone models that use 3D Touch, as well as for touch modules destined for use in new iPad and MacBook models. In the case of GIS, chairman Chou Hsien-ying advised production is likely to ramp up from 500,000 to 600,000 units per month seen in the first half of the year to a million for the second half.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    boxcatcherboxcatcher Posts: 151member
    A feature that is effectively hidden ... not surprised.
    n2itivguydysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 16
    rob bonnerrob bonner Posts: 232member
    Have suspected for years that this feature could be done in software.  As you press harder the impression becomes bigger, so a enlarging touch circle would yield similar results.
    n2itivguyradarthekatdysamoriasuperkloton
  • Reply 3 of 16
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    I kind of like the feature, the current problem is many apps do not use it so it not a muscle memory feature that is not automatic. For the apps that use it I find it is hard making sure i do not activate 3D when I only want to just highlight text to copy. This is because apps which do not use it a light press and a hard press act the same then you switch to the app with 3D touch if you press too hard to get something you did not want.

    just my view of the feature not sure if I am going to miss it or not, but i do use it mostly with the Apple built in functions.
    n2itivguydysamoria1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,105member
    Have suspected for years that this feature could be done in software.  As you press harder the impression becomes bigger, so a enlarging touch circle would yield similar results.
    Well whatever they’re doing with Haptic Touch isn’t nearly as good. I hope there’s an actual reason for dropping it besides penny pinching.
    gilly33AppleExposed1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    rob bonnerrob bonner Posts: 232member
    Have suspected for years that this feature could be done in software.  As you press harder the impression becomes bigger, so a enlarging touch circle would yield similar results.
    Well whatever they’re doing with Haptic Touch isn’t nearly as good. I hope there’s an actual reason for dropping it besides penny pinching.
    Guessing the juice is not worth the squeeze.  Analytics probably indicate low usage, and when taken with the cost  (in terms of $$, thickness and maybe adding something else to the display), was probably more expensive than it was worth overall.
    radarthekat1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    ziadjkziadjk Posts: 55member
    Well whatever they’re doing with Haptic Touch isn’t nearly as good. I hope there’s an actual reason for dropping it besides penny pinching.
    Yes I agree! Maybe they’re replacing it with something even better than Haptic and 3D Touch? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    I looked forward to 3D Touch when I went from 5S to X. Aside from triggering flashlight or camera, I've found it nearly useless. It's actually annoying in Safari when I'm trying to long-press a link to open in background and press too hard, resulting in preview or page opening instead.
    Japheydysamoria
  • Reply 8 of 16
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 950member
    I turned off 3D touch on the iOS 13 betas as it's pretty broken at the moment, falsely activating all the time. This has allowed me to try the haptic touch alternative, which is absolutely terrible. Trying to activate haptic touch on a springboard app icon is really clunky, you have to hold it for between 0.4 and 1 second for it to be recognised as a haptic touch otherwise it assumes you're trying to move icons. If you don't feel the feedback (which is much more difficult when moving in a car or bus etc) you don't really know when to let go. No such problem with 3D touch. It feels really slow to hold the icon until you get feedback, rather than a near instantaneous hard-push.

    The other oddity with 3D touch in iOS 13 is the lack of instantaneous action. When 3D touching an app icon in iOS12, the menu appears immediately. Now, the icon pulses and then when you release your finger the menu appears. I'd imagine this is a bug with the haptic touch code running, preventing the menu appearing incase you're actually after an app-moving wiggle.

    I'm sure the reason they're removing it is lack of use. It's impossible to know when to use it, as there's no visual indication. A small icon on 3D-touchable things to inform you would suffice, but as is, you just have to go around hard pushing everything.
    edited July 9
  • Reply 9 of 16
    starwarsstarwars Posts: 72member
    it's a good but annoying feature at the same time in its small delay that it introduces (hate the waiting), and sometime fail to identify (whether it's user fault) then become an added annoyance.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 256member
    This might be nothing but a rumor. A YouTuber among others reached out to Federighi about 3D Touch going away and the exec while not entirely forthcoming seemed to suggest that it's staying. Who knows? I enjoy the feature, be nice if it was incorporated in more 3rd party apps. 
    waverboywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,191member
    I use 3D Touch hundreds of times a day to switch apps instead of double-clicking the Home button. Yes, I have an older phone and I don’t like the new ones.
    waverboyAppleExposed
  • Reply 12 of 16
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 24member
    I looked forward to 3D Touch when I went from 5S to X. Aside from triggering flashlight or camera, I've found it nearly useless. It's actually annoying in Safari when I'm trying to long-press a link to open in background and press too hard, resulting in preview or page opening instead.
    I had the same expectations and annoying experiences. I inadvertently opened many links before I discovered that by scrolling up when the preview card appeared I could access the “open in background” button. Its an awkward and unnatural gesture (for me anyway), but at least I can find it now. Other than that, I don’t really use 3D Touch much at all anymore. 
    king editor the grate
  • Reply 13 of 16
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,281member
    I'm using 3D touch for the keyboard a lot, for moving the cursor. But it could just as well be done with a long press on the space bar. Contextual menus... I never use it. Long press and 3D press is often ending up in a conflict. It's a bit difficult to hit the right force to pull off a 3D peek, rather than a full press, and by the time you've done it, you might have performed a long press. I'm finding it a little bit messy. I'm using it sometimes to save images in Safari, and to peek at something in Instagram.

    I think the one place where 3D touch is being made use of in a pretty useful way though is in music apps.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,185unconfirmed, member
    And Apple is removing FaceID too.... /s

    Most likely it's going to be replaced by something better. The flashlight/camera icons on the lockscreen are genius.

    Have suspected for years that this feature could be done in software.  As you press harder the impression becomes bigger, so a enlarging touch circle would yield similar results.

    This is like when android users claimed Apple "copied" Samsungs crappy implementation of face recognition. The point? Not the same quality. 3D touch is way way better. Imagine how many times you'll accidentally turn on the flashlight/camera by touching your iPhone when it's in your pocket for example.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,211member
    3D Touch only works semi-reliably. There’s the first terminal fault with the feature. The best use I make of it is notifications, and a long press is all that’s needed there, so 3D Touch is irrelevant there. The only other place I use it is to activate the keyboard cursor and it’s a frelling nightmare for that. The long-press space bar isn’t great but it’s slightly more reliable to trigger (but NEITHER of them are reliable!!!). 

    Pressure sensitivity is interesting for apps that can use it, like painting apps (who does that on an iPhone?) and music apps for aftertouch on keyboards (almost no apps support it).

    Size of touch is perfectly able to replace pressure sensitivity, and I don’t know why almost no one and nothing uses it. The only app I know that uses it is on the iPad: FingerFiddle (a fantastic instrument).
  • Reply 16 of 16
    I have used almost exclusively 3D Touch to multi task on my iPhone 6S then my current iPhone 8, works systematically and is fully (like, safely) one handed use compliant. I know the new Face ID phones have this new gesture to multi task (slide up, stop and release), which seems like a loss of time (I have it on iPad, so I permit myself to attest), but still overrides the 3D Touch multitasking gesture anyway... I will miss 3D Touch, even though, I can't really say I won't live without it. I would have liked them to try it in software, as another commenter said: they could detect the finger contact surface growing, even though it could be challenging in the multitask gesture case, as it happens on the edge of the screen.
    watto_cobra
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