Well respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities told investors in a research note on Thursday that the next-generation iPhone will feature the new Force Touch input found in the Apple Watch and 13-inch MacBook Trackpad.
According to AppleInsider, Kuo believes that the new technology will be the most significant change to the iPhone to date that Apple might just call the new device “iPhone 7” instead of “iPhone 6s.”
“We believe that the iPhone’s Force Touch sensor doesn’t directly detect the pressure applied by fingers,” Kuo said. “Instead, it monitors the contact area on which the finger touches the screen to decide how big the pressure is.”
From the article:
He believes Apple will implement Force Touch on the next iPhone by using capacitive technology, and placing the sensor under the in-cell touch panel’s backlight. Doing so will save space within the device, and will make it more easily transparent for use on an LCD, he said.
Bringing Force Touch to the iPhone will require a number of suppliers, according to Kuo. Specifically, he expects modules will be supplied by TPK and GIS, while metal shielding could come from Minebea, Hi-P, and Jabil. By 2016, Apple may be able to ditch the metal shielding to allow for a thinner form factor.
Finally, Kuo said on Thursday that Apple’s next-generation iPhone, whether it’s dubbed the “7” or otherwise, will again come in screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches. He said it’s unlikely that Apple will introduce a new 4-inch model this year, but did not say whether the current iPhone 5s could be repackaged with a plastic back, as Apple did before with the iPhone 5 to create the iPhone 5c.