Force Touch for iPhone expected to bring about most significant change yet to iOS user interface

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2015
Apple may name this year's iPhone upgrade the "iPhone 7," instead of the "iPhone 6s," because the addition of Force Touch input will represent such a significant change to the user interface, according to one well-connected insider.




Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities issued a research note on Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, in which he reaffirmed that Apple's next-generation iPhone will indeed feature Force Touch input. Currently available on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, the technology will also be featured in the 12-inch MacBook and Apple Watch.

AppleInsider's own sources were first to indicate in February that Apple would introduce Force Touch technology in this year's iPhone upgrade. Since then, additional reports have corroborated this.

According to Kuo, Force Touch on the iPhone will represent "the most significant change" to date in the iPhone user interface. In fact, the change will be so substantial that he believes Apple may decide to call the handset the "iPhone 7," rather than an "iPhone 6s."

"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."




He believes Apple will implement Force Touch on the next iPhone by using capacitive technology, and placing the sensor under the in-cell touch panel's backlight. Doing so will save space within the device, and will make it more easily transparent for use on an LCD, he said.

Bringing Force Touch to the iPhone will require a number of suppliers, according to Kuo. Specifically, he expects modules will be supplied by TPK and GIS, while metal shielding could come from Minebea, Hi-P, and Jabil. By 2016, Apple may be able to ditch the metal shielding to allow for a thinner form factor.

Finally, Kuo said on Thursday that Apple's next-generation iPhone, whether it's dubbed the "7" or otherwise, will again come in screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches. He said it's unlikely that Apple will introduce a new 4-inch model this year, but did not say whether the current iPhone 5s could be repackaged with a plastic back, as Apple did before with the iPhone 5 to create the iPhone 5c.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 75
    Both or just the 5.5" model?
  • Reply 2 of 75
    I just want to know when the Apple Trackpad will get Force Touch so I can use it on a Mac Pro.
  • Reply 3 of 75
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 1,064member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    I just want to know when the Apple Trackpad will get Force Touch so I can use it on a Mac Pro.

     

    Author, author!

  • Reply 4 of 75
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member

    He's usually right about hardware features. This could indeed be revolutionary depending on the level of imagination applied. And it seems likely to catch the competition off guard in the same way 64-bit did.

  • Reply 5 of 75
    peteopeteo Posts: 402member
    "Instead, it monitors the contact area on which the finger touches the screen to decide how big the pressure is."

    Which seems to mean it tracks when you finger's skin is spread out due to pushing.
    If so then any non squishy stylus will not work with force touch. I'm assuming it will use the same tech for the iPad.
  • Reply 6 of 75
    ascii wrote: »
    He's usually right about hardware features. This could indeed be revolutionary depending on the level of imagination applied. And it seems likely to catch the competition off guard in the same way 64-bit did.

    Then I'm dismayed that it's being reported through the rumor mill. What Kuo and others are doing is tantamount to industrial espionage.
  • Reply 7 of 75
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    No way they are calling a phone with the same shell as the iPhone6 an iPhone7


     

    But the iPad Air 2 has basically the same shell as the iPad Air and the mini 3 looks exactly like the mini 2.

  • Reply 7 of 75
    No 4" this year, so I look forward to experiencing Force Touch in 2016, if Apple decides to bring out an optimum-sized model that year. Perhaps it'll come to the Magic Trackpad this year.
  • Reply 9 of 75
    herbivoreherbivore Posts: 132member
    The force touch interface will be nice on the iPhone and iPad. However, the A9 chip promises the greatest benefit from my perspective.
  • Reply 10 of 75
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    ascii wrote: »
    He's usually right about hardware features. . . .
    Which is to say, he's right half the time and wrong the other half (or the same as random chance.)
  • Reply 11 of 75
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post





    Then I'm dismayed that it's being reported through the rumor mill. What Kuo and others are doing is tantamount to industrial espionage.



    Definitely. He has probably paid someone in the supply chain somewhere. But as a reporter I guess his sources are protected. Apple should still try to find out how he's doing it.

  • Reply 12 of 75
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post





    Which is to say, he's right half the time and wrong the other half (or the same as random chance.)



    I think he's right more than half the time isn't he? With the exception of Jim Dalrymple and his "Nope"'s, Kuo is possibly the single most reliable source of rumors. But he has not predicted new software features and he did not predict the new Mac Pro (which is made in the USA) so he probably has a source in the Asian supply chain. 

  • Reply 13 of 75
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    we are talking about iPhones here.  Every single new iPhone with a different number designation has been a significant design change.  From 3 to 4 to 5 and to 6.

    Well perhaps the new iPhones this year will have some design changes. Like making the antenna lines less noticible.
  • Reply 14 of 75
    glubengluben Posts: 21member

    Why don't they just skip ahead to the proper generation number and call it the iPhone 9? It'll have an A9 chip after all...

  • Reply 15 of 75
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    ascii wrote: »

    I think he's right more than half the time isn't he? With the exception of Jim Dalrymple and his "Nope"'s, Kuo is possibly the single most reliable source of rumors. But he has not predicted new software features and he did not predict the new Mac Pro (which is made in the USA) so he probably has a source in the Asian supply chain. 
    Seems to me he's 50/50.
    Of course he's just passing on what his sources tell him, like any other Apple "rumor expert." I will say his sources seem more likely to have tips based on some actual nugget of intellegence rather than shear speculation. It does makes his stuff more interesting even if it isn't statistically reliable. He's making a more serious effort than others.
  • Reply 16 of 75
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,050member
    Kuo's speculation is just like what we predicted so far in this forum except the name iPhone 7 which is unlikely. 5 to 5S was also significant change with the TouchID. My gut feeling tells me that Force Touch may not be in this year refresh but next year.
  • Reply 17 of 75
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,050member
    gluben wrote: »
    Why don't they just skip ahead to the proper generation number and call it the iPhone 9? It'll have an A9 chip after all...
    Then changes to iPhone 9X instead of 9S with S9X chip?
  • Reply 18 of 75

    This is just Apple being Apple. Introduce something new that at first seems like a gimmick but soon people realize how great of an idea it really is.

  • Reply 19 of 75
    cgs268cgs268 Posts: 55member
    Perhaps with the introduction of Force Touch they can get rid of the Home button??
  • Reply 20 of 75
    Apple is not very consistent with it's naming scheme, but it doesn't skip numbers. Right, Windows [S]9[/S] 10?
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