Suppliers ramping up Force Touch module shipments for 'iPhone 6s,' rumor claims

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2015
Apple touch panel suppliers are reportedly ramping up shipments of Force Touch modules in preparation for the launch of a next-generation iPhone, according to a new rumor.




Companies first began shipping the new Force Touch modules in June, and scaled up production in July, supply chain sources told DigiTimes. As many as 36 to 40 million next-gen iPhones could be built during the September quarter, followed by 50 million in the December quarter, the sources added.

One supplier, TPK, allegedly announced in recent times that it would be entering mass production of Force Touch parts in July, but without specifying the customer. Only Apple makes products branded with the Force Touch name, however.

It should be noted that DigiTimes and its supply chain sources have an unreliable track record in predicting Apple's future product plans. However, Apple is widely expected to feature Force Touch in this year's iPhone upgrade, and AppleInsider's own sources affirmed as much in February of this year.

Reports have pointed toward Apple shipping two new iPhones in the fall, commonly referred to as the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. While the devices should be similar in design to current iPhoens, they're expected to get not just Force Touch but faster A9 processors, 2 gigabytes of RAM, and 12-megapixel rear cameras paired with 5-megapixel front units.

They may also get sturdier 7000-series aluminum and a rose gold color option. Those traits, like Force Touch, would be carry-overs from the Apple Watch lineup.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    How about haptic feedback?
  • Reply 2 of 19
    EDIT: Oh huddler...
  • Reply 3 of 19
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I'll bet digital touch comes to iPhone. And I wonder too if Apple releases a pen that goes with an iPad Pro will it also work with iPhone so the 6 Plus is similar to Galaxy Note only better?
  • Reply 4 of 19
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Why is needed for Force Touch? I'm having a hard time imagining that the beveled, sapphire on the Watch will deform at all when touched a little more firmly by a phalange, or, if it does literally press down, there is a force-sensitive layer that can register such a minute change.

    I'd think it's more likely done mostly with an algorithm that uses the multipoint touch to gauge how the press "footprint" changes in order to guess when a press is completed. In terms of HW, that may still be necessary for my above algorithm hypothesis if a more sensitive touch matrix or additional points to be registered are needed.

    Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
    How about haptic feedback?

    My guess is the display is too large for that to be a reality.

    Is it reasonable to eventually expect some sort of flat layer under the display that can be made to vibrate when two axes are stimulated, which could then mean a line segment on each axis thus resulting in a wider and longer vibration.

    rogifan wrote: »
    And I wonder too if Apple releases a pen that goes with an iPad Pro will it also work with iPhone so the 6 Plus is similar to Galaxy Note only better?

    I sure hope so, and I have to imagine Apple has tested digitizers, and created frameworks and APIs starting many years ago, but the cost for the digitizer has been too great for a HW component that will have to go in all devices and yet be used by all.

    PS: When (not if) they do include a digitizer (and a pen or digi-pen template) the asshats will come out of the woodwork miaattributing quotes from Jobs and claiming that yada yada did it first even though Apple will be he first to do it right. I would guess they will likely get a few 3rd-parties to secretly update certain apps to take advantage of this new feature, and possibly have them demo it on stage. That's markedly different than an OEM including the HW, or Google creating a few APIs and then assuming that everything else will just fall into place.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    darendinodarendino Posts: 126member

    Will Ai stop with the 'ramping up' phase.



    You use it EVERY year to try and add drama to a headline.

  • Reply 6 of 19
    be nice if Apple has the unlocked version available at the same time its released to/by the carriers

  • Reply 7 of 19
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DarenDino View Post

     

    Will Ai stop with the 'ramping up' phase.



    You use it EVERY year to try and add drama to a headline.




    They have to have something to write about...  ;)

  • Reply 8 of 19
    solipsismy wrote: »

    I'd think it's more likely done mostly with an algorithm that uses the multipoint touch to gauge how the press "footprint" changes in order to guess when a press is completed...

    I don't think so. That technique is already used. The problem is how to detect the difference between a large finger pressing lightly or a smaller finger pressing hard if they both present the same size of contact point. Further, people have skin/fingers with many variations. For example, a person with calluses would see their contact point change very little under pressure while someone with soft skin could see a large change in finger shape.

    The only way to make force detection consistent is by measuring the actual force applied. This eliminates variations between fingers.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,536moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    Why is needed for Force Touch? I'm having a hard time imagining that the beveled, sapphire on the Watch will deform at all when touched a little more firmly by a phalange, or, if it does literally press down, there is a force-sensitive layer that can register such a minute change.



    I'd think it's more likely done mostly with an algorithm that uses the multipoint touch to gauge how the press "footprint" changes in order to guess when a press is completed. In terms of HW, that may still be necessary for my above algorithm hypothesis if a more sensitive touch matrix or additional points to be registered are needed.



    Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

    My guess is the display is too large for that to be a reality.



    Is it reasonable to eventually expect some sort of flat layer under the display that can be made to vibrate when two axes are stimulated, which could then mean a line segment on each axis thus resulting in a wider and longer vibration.

     

    Force Touch detection on the watch is made possible by a piezo-electric layer in the display stack.  This converts pressure to an electrical signal.  The display itself does not deform, it merely transfers the pressure against it to the piezo layer.  So the magic of Force touch is that the piezo layer does not, in itself, need to know where the user pressed, as that information is collected by the capacity touch layer, as has been the case all along for touch screen displays.  And this implies that the piezo layer doesn't need to underlay the entire display.  On a larger display like the iPhone, it could be present as a layer under the entire display, or it could be a small piezo element under each corner, or continuously around the edge.  Any number of geometries would suffice to determine that pressure is being applied to some part of the display, and this relatively crude feedback, combined with the capacitive touch capability to pinpoint where the user is touching the display can be conveyed to the OS and to applications that will respond accordingly.

     

    As to the Taptic feedback, this has its own element of being somewhat magical in it's implementation.  The taptic engine that creates the vibration does not need to be in proximity to where the vibration is felt.  You can see how this works on the watch.  In contexts where you can use Force Touch, such as on the main Watch face, which takes you to the watch face configurator, you can Force touch anywhere on the display.  When the Taptic feedback engine vibrates to provide haptic feedback, this vibration is sufficient to be felt anywhere on the watch face.  You get a very distinct feel that the part of the display you are touching has been depressed, like a button that snaps in and back out under your touch.  But that's more about the fact that your finger is what is registering the feedback and your brain knows where your finger resides on the display, so your brain says, if I'm feeling that feedback and my finger is on the upper right corner of the display, then that's the part of the display that depressed and popped back up under my finger.  But reality is that the vibration could have been felt anywhere on the watch face, it's just that you feel it only in the location you are currently in contact with, and so it appears to be coming only from there.

     

    And so, a haptic engine placed pretty much anywhere within the iPhone, within some tolerance of how far away the vibration can be felt, will serve to provide the illusion that the display is actually button pressing under your finger.  Magic.  Brought to you by physics.

     

    This is the reason I think Apple could go to a virtual home button, a home button that doesn't actually move, as the Taptic engine could be tuned to provide just the right feel, equivalent to the sensation you currently feel when depressing an existing iPhone or iPad Home button.  That would remove a moving part from the phone, reducing the chances of failure of that component.

  • Reply 10 of 19
    Why are there seemingly no articles on how Apple might implement Force Touch into iOS9? I think this will likely be the biggest improvement to iOS, and we haven't even seen (or speculated) how it might work. It will certainly be implemented in different ways than it is on the watch since it is used to bring up menus that can't easily be accessed on such a small screen. Maybe force touch will be used to invoke multitasking? Or what about waking the phone instead of clicking the home button or sleep/wake button? Perhaps it can be used to return to the home screen? I see force touch on the iPhone as the beginning of the end for the home button. Anyone else have any ideas what it might be used for? Do you think Apple will keep it as an OS-level input method, or will they allow developers to take advantage of the new tech?
  • Reply 11 of 19
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    justinpe wrote: »
    Why are there seemingly no articles on how Apple might implement Force Touch into iOS9? I think this will likely be the biggest improvement to iOS, and we haven't even seen (or speculated) how it might work. It will certainly be implemented in different ways than it is on the watch since it is used to bring up menus that can't easily be accessed on such a small screen. Maybe force touch will be used to invoke multitasking? Or what about waking the phone instead of clicking the home button or sleep/wake button? Perhaps it can be used to return to the home screen? I see force touch on the iPhone as the beginning of the end for the home button. Anyone else have any ideas what it might be used for? Do you think Apple will keep it as an OS-level input method, or will they allow developers to take advantage of the new tech?

    I think it could be amazing and they opened it up to developers on the Mac so I hope they do so on iOS as well.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
    My guess is the display is too large for that to be a reality.


    As others have posted, nothing actually moves in Force Touch.

    The haptic feedback on the Watch works with Force Touch so that when you push hard on the screen, not only does a set of options "zoom in" over the screen, but the motor vibrates in concert. The result feels quite natural, and I'd miss it if it were not there.

    The New MacBook Retina trackpad is pretty large--I haven't done the math, but its surface area should be comparable to the surface of the iPhone 6. However, the haptic hardware underneath, while quite slim, takes up interior space that the iPhone 6 probably doesn't have, but I think a mechanism like that could provide crisp, high frequency tactile sensations that touch screen phones today can't do.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    justinpe wrote: »
    Why are there seemingly no articles on how Apple might implement Force Touch into iOS9? I think this will likely be the biggest improvement to iOS, and we haven't even seen (or speculated) how it might work. It will certainly be implemented in different ways than it is on the watch since it is used to bring up menus that can't easily be accessed on such a small screen. Maybe force touch will be used to invoke multitasking? Or what about waking the phone instead of clicking the home button or sleep/wake button? Perhaps it can be used to return to the home screen? I see force touch on the iPhone as the beginning of the end for the home button. Anyone else have any ideas what it might be used for? Do you think Apple will keep it as an OS-level input method, or will they allow developers to take advantage of the new tech?

    When Apple announces new iOS versions during WWDC, they omit features which require unreleased hardware. For example, Apple didn't reveal that iOS 7 would support 64-bit because they kept the iPhone 5s' specs a secret. Force Touch on the iPhone 6s is a leaky secret/assumption from the rumor mill, but Apple will not officially unveil those aspects of iOS until the next iPhone is revealed.

    Any such article about Force Touch on iOS 9 would have to be speculation.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    what if someone has a heavy finger?


     

    There could be a setting to allow you to change how much force is required before it takes action. Just like selecting double-click mouse speed.

  • Reply 15 of 19
    How about haptic feedback?

    That will be in the stylus... 8-)
  • Reply 16 of 19

    As others have posted, nothing actually moves in Force Touch.

    The haptic feedback on the Watch works with Force Touch so that when you push hard on the screen, not only does a set of options "zoom in" over the screen, but the motor vibrates in concert. The result feels quite natural, and I'd miss it if it were not there.

    The New MacBook Retina trackpad is pretty large--I haven't done the math, but its surface area should be comparable to the surface of the iPhone 6. However, the haptic hardware underneath, while quite slim, takes up interior space that the iPhone 6 probably doesn't have, but I think a mechanism like that could provide crisp, high frequency tactile sensations that touch screen phones today can't do.

    Apple could just redesign the iPhone's built in vibrator to give it more range of frequency for haptic feedback.... so no more room will be needed for a second device inside the case.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    heliahelia Posts: 170member

    'Tis

     

    Quote:


    It should be noted that DigiTimes and its supply chain sources have an unreliable track record in predicting Apple's future product plans


  • Reply 18 of 19
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,050member
    sog35 wrote: »
    So according to this sketchy rumor they will be building 86 to 90 million iPhone6S/+

    They should sell about 12 million in September

    That leaves 78 million for the holiday quarter

    About 85-88% of phones sold in holiday quarter are usually the flagship.  That means about 12 million mid/low level phones sold.

    That gives us a total of 90 million iPhones sold in holiday quarter which is 20% YoY unit increase.

    Throw in Watch sales.
    Throw in iPad Pro sales.
    Throw in more services revenue - Apple Pay, Apple Music, Apps, ect
    Possible new Apple TV

    We could easily see 25-30% profit growth from the ridiculously high profit growth from holiday Qtr 2014.


    Most analysist are forecasting profit growth of only 5-10% for FY2016 which starts in the holiday quarter.
    your sketchy rumor is probably bs because there's no way in hell that Apple can sell that amount of 6S/+ in the holiday season. 78 millions may be entire iPhone selections, not only 6S/+.
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