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Supply Chain Sources Claim that Apple is Already Testing Force Touch Display Panels for their Next iPhone


We've covered Apple's Force Touch technology from patents through to the Apple Watch and beyond. And although the rumor has been around for months that Apple was likely to bring force touch to the next version of the iPhone, it's being confirmed today that Apple is currently working on it with their supply chain partners.


According to a new supply chain report from Taiwan published today, Apple is preparing to equip its next iPhone models with Force Touch technology similar to that used in the Apple Watch but is still experimenting where the sensor will be placed, according to touch panel makers in Taiwan.


Sources in the supply chain said that TPK and GIS, two companies which currently supply panels for the Apple Watch, will supply Apple with sensors for the upcoming iPhone that will allow users to perform actions according to touch pressure.


The Apple Watch already comes equipped with the technology and Apple expects this feature to be the next move in providing value-added features for its smartphones, the sources said, adding that other vendors are expected to utilize the technology heading into 2016.


The report further notes that Apple is still experimenting with two different designs. The sources state that Apple is considering either placing the sensor between the outermost protective screen cover and the In-Cell touch panel or beneath the touch panel backlighting layer.


The supply chain sources feel that the second option is the more likely of the two as Apple wants to avoid interference with the In-Cell touch panel. This would likely require adding extra touch sensor components in addition to a new flexible printed circuit (FPC) design in order to save on space, the sources added.


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