Apple expected to ‘eliminate’ 3D Touch from 2019 iPhones

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3D Touch app switching
Farewell, 3D Touch.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple is expected to eliminate 3D Touch this year, favoring Haptic Touch instead for the 2019 iPhone lineup.

The pressure-sensitive technology was introduced just under four years ago with the iPhone 6s. But the iPhone XR has since proven that it isn’t completely necessary to enjoy 3D Touch features.

iPhone users are divided over 3D Touch. Some see it as little more than a gimmick that never gets used, while others have grown to rely on its handy shortcuts and features like Peek and Pop.

3D Touch is made possible by pressure sensors built into the iPhone’s display that cleverly distinguish between a normal tap and a firmer press. But those pressure sensors could be scrapped.

Analysts are again reporting that 3D Touch won’t be integrated into this year’s iPhone lineup.

Farewell, 3D Touch

Barclays has “confirmed” in a research note to investors that 3D Touch “will be eliminated” this fall, MacRumors reports.

The same team of analysts first reported the move in August 2018, when they said it was “widely understood” that 3D Touch would be killed off in 2019. The move has seemingly now been finalized.

The Wall Street Journal also reported in January that 3D Touch would be scrapped this year.

That doesn’t mean we won’t be able to enjoy handy Home screen shortcuts, quick actions, and other 3D Touch features, though.

Long live Haptic Touch

Apple is expected to bring Haptic Touch, the same technology introduced with the iPhone XR last year, to the rest of the iPhone lineup. It’s basically 3D Touch, but without pressure sensitivity.

Haptic Touch offers many of the same features, and uses the iPhone’s Taptic Engine to offer haptic feedback when a user presses their screen. Many users say it feels exactly the same.

We probably won’t miss out too much, then, but it’s unclear why Apple plans to ditch its 3D Touch technology.

Cost cutting?

3D Touch wasn’t possible with the iPhone XR because its edge-to-edge LCD display left no room for pressure sensors. That’s not the case with the OLED screens inside the iPhone X and iPhone XS.

So, there must be another reason why Apple wants to drop it. It could be to make the iPhone thinner, or it could be a cost-cutting measure at a time when iPhone prices are seen to be too high.

Some reports have suggested Apple will reduce iPhone prices this fall. If indeed that is the case, it will be taking steps to ensure the device is just as profitable as it always has been.