The Force (touch) appears to be with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). The company has started early production of new iPhone models with its "Force Touch" feature, which can sense how hard users are pressing down on a screen, according to a Bloomberg report.
The report, citing unnamed sources, said Apple's 2015 iPhone models will sport the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens as the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models and will have a similar exterior design. The report added that Apple is expected to start ramping up high-volume manufacturing of the models as soon as July, but noted that the timing and production volume of Force Touch-enabled phones could be impacted by the supply and yield of the displays. Apple has released its new iPhones in September for several years now.
An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple is already using Force Touch technology in its latest MacBook and in Apple Watch. The technology can tell the difference between a light press and deep press, letting users control a device differently depending on how hard they push on the screen. Developers could potentially use the technology to create new music or gaming apps.
Bloomberg first reported in 2013 that Apple was planning to add pressure-sensitive displays to the iPhone and The Wall Street Journal chimed in with a similar report in March.
Apple sold a whopping 74.5 million iPhones in the holiday quarter and followed that up with 61.2 million unit sales in the first quarter, an indication of strong momentum. Counterpoint Research said in early June that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were the top-selling smartphones globally by unit sales in April.
Yet some analysts think that because the newest iPhones coming out this fall will represent a small, "S" update to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, they will not generate as much buzz or sales, following a similar pattern of recent years.
- see this Bloomberg article
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Report: Apple to bring pressure-sensitive 'Force Touch' to new iPhones