Apple's recently unveiled Force Touch technology, which earlier this week was announced in the company's new Apple Watch and the upcoming MacBook, will also be included in the next version of Apple's hugely popular iPhones later this year.
The inclusion of Force Touch, which automatically reacts to whether a user presses lightly or with more force on the device's input system, was reported in a March 11 story in The Wall Street Journal, based on anonymous sources who are familiar with the potential changes.
Apple will add the Force Touch sensors that enable the feature to the next generation of iPhones, the report stated, as well as present some other changes, including a new case color, which could be pink.
The new Force Touch track-pad that was just announced in the upcoming Apple MacBook and Apple Watch includes a "click" that's managed with software rather than through physical means. The track-pad includes a glass surface with four force sensors and a taptic engine for accurate and fast user response, according to Apple. The system also reacts to whether a user gives it a light tap or a deep press. If a user presses harder on the fast-forward button in Quicktime, for example, the video plays faster on the screen, reacting to the user's input.
The upcoming Force Touch feature was unveiled on March 9 by Apple at the "Spring Forward" event that the company held for the Apple Watch and other new products in San Francisco.
An Apple spokeswoman told eWEEK on March 11 that she had no comment on the report of the inclusion of Force Touch in the next iPhones.
Apple's re-engineered MacBook, which is thinner, lighter and has longer battery life than previous versions, includes a new Force Touch touch-pad. Prices for the latest MacBook start at $1,299.
Prices for the upcoming Apple Watch, which will be available for preorder starting April 10, start at $349 for a Sport version, while the luxury Watch Edition versions will be priced from $10,000 to $17,000 for an Apple Watch in 18-karat gold. Apple Watches will be available to consumers starting April 24, when they will be in Apple stores and available for perusing and purchasing.
The rumored details about the next generation of iPhones were provided by reports from Apple suppliers, according to The Wall Street Journal. "Apple tests different technologies and designs with suppliers that ultimately may not be included in a product for a variety of reasons," the news story reported. "Mass production for some of the components used in the new phones is expected to start in May," the sources said.
In January, Apple reported its best-ever quarter, posting $74.6 billion in revenue and $18 billion in net profits for the first fiscal quarter of 2015 due to a consumer frenzy of sales of its latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones, Mac computers and sales of apps and more in the company's App Store. First-quarter revenue was up 30 percent from $57.6 billion in revenue the same quarter the previous year, while net profit in this interval rose 37 percent from $13.1 billion.
Record first-quarter sales of iPhones were led by the September 2014 release of the company's latest smartphones. Revenue for iPhones in the quarter totaled $51.2 billion, up from $32.5 billion for the same quarter the previous year, on sales of 74.5 million iPhones around the world. That was an increase of 46 percent from the 51 million iPhones Apple sold in the year-earlier quarter.