Rumors detailing Apple’s plans for this year’s new iPhones are already swirling and some reports have claimed that Apple might have three new smartphones in stores this year including a 4-inch version that’s tentatively being referred to as the “iPhone 6c.” Now one insider who is well known for his high accuracy regarding unreleased Apple products has revealed more details about 2015’s iPhones.
Instead of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models, Apple might go directly to iPhone 7 with iPhone naming, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors seen by MacRumors. The reason there may be no “6s” iteration is that the phones will have one major feature that’s big enough for these devices to be seen as much more than refinements of last year’s models: A capacitive Force Touch sensor under the backlight similar to the kind of technology being used in the Apple Watch.
The design of Force Touch technology for iPhone will be different than the one found on the Apple Watch and MacBook, Kuo said, as there are challenges Apple has to overcome in order to offer the functionality to users.
“We believe that iPhone’s Force Touch sensor doesn’t directly detect the pressure applied by fingers,” the analyst wrote. “Instead, it monitors the contact area on which the finger touches the screen to decide how big the pressure is.”
“There are two possible structural designs for Force Touch from a technology viewpoint. The Force Touch sensor can either be placed between the cover lens and the In-cell touch panel or under the In-cell touch panel’s backlight. In the first position, the technological challenge lies with how to produce the transparent Force Touch sensor; in the second position, the challenge is how to reduce signal interference from in-cell touch panel. Our understanding of the technology is that producing a transparent Force Touch sensor is more difficult, so the chances are the new iPhone this year will opt for the second position,” he added.
Also interesting is Kuo’s claim that Apple will not launch a new 4-inch iPhone this year, as some rumors have suggested. Instead the company will only focus on 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch successors for last year’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models.