Samsung Electronics likely won't unveil the Galaxy S7 until early in 2016, but a rumor has already popped up that it will have a pressure-sensitive screen similar to Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
According to an I Ice Universe account on Weibo, the popular Chinese social network, Samsung is working with Synaptics to use its "ClearForce" technology to lets its forthcoming smartphones respond to various levels of screen pressure. Apple has made what it calls "3D Touch," a pressure-sensitive input method, a key selling point of its new iPhones, which went on sale late last month. According to the post as cited by CNET, the Galaxy S7's technology would provide contextual menu options in response to different kinds of touches on the screen.
Representatives for Samsung and Synaptics declined to comment.
As CNET notes, there are other phones moving in this direction. In September Huawei announced the Mate S, a new high-end phone that is not yet on sale. That gadget can also tell the difference in pressure and respond accordingly. Huawei used the phone's unveiling to demonstrate how the Mate S's screen could weigh an orange.
Apple has said that 3D Touch "senses force to enable intuitive new ways to access features and interact with content." The technology has let Apple introduce two new mobile gesture verbs into the collective lexicon: "Peek" and "Pop," which let users view content and even act on it without having to open it. For example, Apple says that with a light press iPhone users can Peek at each email in their inbox and when they want to open one, they can press a little harder to actually Pop into it. Among other use cases, users can also Peek into preview websites by pressing lightly on a URL and then if they really want to visit it, they can press more deeply to actually go to the site.
Last week Samsung forecasted a sharp jump in its operating profit for the third quarter, signaling that year-over-year profit declines might be ending. However, the growth in profit and revenue is expected to be largely driven by the conglomerate's components and chipset division, and it's unclear at this point how well its new smartphones are faring in the market.
- see this CNET article
- see this 9to5Google article
Apple: We sold 13M new iPhone 6s, 6s Plus models in first 3 days of sales, up from 10M last year
How iOS developers can start using 3D Touch in the iPhone 6S for mobile games
Samsung forecasts nearly 80% jump in profit for Q3, but mobile biz 'isn't out of the woods yet'
Amid iPhone and Nexus phone launches, Samsung offers $120 discount on Galaxy S6, Note 5
Samsung runs out of Galaxy smartphones for iPhone 'test drive' promotion on first day
Analysts: Samsung's high costs for Galaxy Note 5, S6 Edge+ could turn off consumers