Apple is reportedly testing two different designs for incorporating Apple Watch-style Force Touch technology into its next iPhone, according to a new report citing the Taiwanese supply chain.
With around five months until the next iPhone is unveiled, Apple is apparently experimenting with different placements for the Force Touch sensor — either locating it between the handset’s outermost protective screen cover and the in-cell touch panel, or else underneath the touch panel backlighting layer.
Of these, the second option is said to be more likely since it avoids possible interference with the in-cell touch panel. According to sources, going with this option would require adding extra touch sensor components, in addition to a new flexible printed circuit design to save on space.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Apple may look to incorporate the Force Touch technology seen in the Apple Watch and new MacBooks into its next-generation iPhone.
KGI’s Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a pretty solid track record for predictions, claims the feature will be slightly different to the one Apple currently uses because rather than detecting pressure from users’ fingers it will monitor “the contact area on which the finger touches the screen to decide how big the pressure is.”
Another (in my view unlikely) rumor has suggested that Force Touch will be available as a premium feature for only the plus-sized next-generation iPhone, much as optical image stabilization was for the iPhone 6 Plus.