Apple’s latest touch trick is a new ‘Force Touch’ mechanism. Instead of taking every tap as a tap, Force Touch allows Apple to create different functions for the speed of the tap, the length of the tap and the force of the tap.
This opens up a whole new way to interact with the user interface, allowing users to press on the same thing and achieve different results from the pressure. It has already been implemented on the Apple Watch and 12-inch MacBook, showing Apple is serious about the new feature.
The next product to get the Force Touch feature might be the iPhone 6S Plus. In a new report from Economic Daily News, the Force Touch feature will be available exclusively on the more expensive iPhone, meaning the iPhone 6S and 6C will both not receive Apple’s new touch technology.
This would mean another new feature added only to the Plus. In 2014, Apple added optical image stabilisation, a larger battery and a full HD display to the iPhone 6 Plus, while not adding the same to the iPhone 6.
It is clear Apple is trying to make the iPhone Plus like the MacBook Pro of the consumer world, offering new features for an extra $100. It should be a big incentive for customers to buy into the new device, and might improve Apple’s already impressive profit margins on the iPhone.
That said, Force Touch is like a whole new system for interacting with a smartphone. If it is not available on every device, users become confused and do not look to use the new functionality. Apple’s segregation tactic might not work in the long term, especially if users find Force Touch to be too painful.
Nobody knows the exact price of Force Touch, but clearly Apple has some issues bringing it to all products. Starting at the high-end eliminates the need for millions of orders, while allowing production to ramp up in order to find cheaper ways to manufacturer the component.
That should mean by 2016 we will see Force Touch on all products, similar to the ramp time for the retina display or the Touch ID sensor.