A new, improved version of the Apple Watch’s Force Touch technology could be coming to Apple’s next-generation plus-sized iPhone — and according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo it may be a significant enough upgrade to persuade Apple to call its next handset the iPhone 7 instead of 6s.
Force Touch is the Apple tech which allows devices to differentiate between light taps and hard taps, opening up a range of new interactions. According to a new report coming out of Taiwan, citing industry insiders, the companies TPK and GIS will supply Force Touch sensors for the next plus-size iPhone at a cost of $13-$14 — roughly 2.5 times more expensive than the $4-$5 Force Touch sensors used for the Apple Watch.
In a research note to investors, KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo — an analyst with a solid record for Apple predictions — claims that the hardware upgrade will be better than the one used in either the Apple Watch or new 12-inch MacBook. Rather than detecting pressure from users’ fingers, Kuo thinks the Force Touch technology will monitor “the contact area on which the finger touches the screen to decide how big the pressure is.”
Only the iPhone 6s Plus is mentioned by the Taiwanese UDN report, although that doesn’t necessarily mean regular iPhone 6s users will be without Force Touch. While Apple gave the iPhone 6 Plus some unique features, such as optical image stabilization, not seen in the smaller 4.7-inch iPhone 6, incorporating Force Touch into one phone and not the other would mean substantially different interfaces for the two upcoming models.
Unless Force Touch is only used for trivial applications, that’s just not something I can see Apple doing. Another possibility is that Apple would plan to source its Force Touch sensors from different manufacturers, much as it splits the factories which work on the iPhone 6 from the 6 Plus.
A previous report claimed that both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will boast Force Touch technology, and that they will ship in white, space gray, gold and also a rose gold color. There are also reports of a much-improved camera.
Can’t wait to start dreaming about the next iPhones? Check out our list of features we’d love to see in Apple’s next-gen iPhone.