There have been many rumors suggesting that Force Touch could be a new feature arriving on the next-gen iPhone. The idea behind Force Touch is simple – basically users press down on the surface at varying degrees of force, and from there the device will know what you’re trying to do, such as performing a simple tap or trying to bring up an additional hidden menu.
This feature debuted in the Apple Watch and Apple’s new MacBooks, and according to a report from DigiTimes (via Cult of Mac), Apple has reportedly placed component orders that seems to corroborate the rumors that Force Touch will indeed arrive in Apple’s next-gen smartphones. The orders are for that of flexible printed circuit boards which are apparently a requirement for incorporating Force Touch into the phone.
However if this is the case and Apple is indeed using PCBs, then earlier rumors of Apple turning to the use of SiPs might be false. In any case prior to today’s report, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had predicted that Apple would use Force Touch in their next-gen iPhones. However Kuo notes that it will be different from how it is implemented in the Apple Watch or MacBook.
Instead of sensing pressure, the iPhone version will monitor the contact area in which the finger touches the screen in order to determine how big the pressure is. The concept is basically the same, but the implementation will be different. The difference will also reportedly cost Apple 2.5 times more for the component than the one needed for the Apple Watch.