Even though Apple has only recently launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and still can’t make enough units to meet demand in various markets, the company is already rumored to be working on a special new feature for the next-gen iPhone — likely to be called the iPhone 6s rather than iPhone 7. According to Chinese publication Economic Daily News, Apple may be interested in bringing a glassless 3D viewing experience to next-gen iPhones, which could be one of the biggest selling points of the new devices.
Apple wouldn’t be the first company to release a smartphone with some sort of 3D features, though such devices haven’t exactly been popular with consumers — just ask Amazon.
The company is reportedly building the hardware and software ecosystem to support such 3D display features, and the publication seems to suggest that the in-cell touch technology used by current iPhone 6 models isn’t suitable for 3D displays.
No matter how wild this rumor may be, it was recently discovered that Apple is very interested in 3D display features for its mobile devices. A patent filed in early February 2011, and awarded to Apple in late September — called Interactive holographic display device — describes a technology that could be used to display interactive holograms on a device’s display, which the user could interact with using multiouch-like gestures.
The display technology described by Apple in the patent uses a complex optical system that can create holographic 3D images that can be seen with the naked eye, without requiring special 3D glasses. More details about this particular patent are available at this link.
Earlier this week, the same publication said that Apple might discontinue the iPad mini next year, and replace it with the iPad Pro, so you really should treat this rumor with the skepticism it deserves.