Increasingly worried about Apple’s polarising iPhone 11 and odd iPhone XR2? Then this breaking news won’t help.
Following up its exciting 2020 iPhone design news, the ever-excellent MacRumors has dug down into information from that report to “confirm” Apple is going to abandon 3D Touch and the company’s popular and exclusive technology “will be eliminated” from the iPhone 11.
MacRumors revealed the information has been sourced directly from Apple suppliers in Asia and the move is going to be a blow to iPhone power users, in particular. The pressure-sensitive technology is far superior to anything seen in rivals thanks to Apple’s dedicated Taptic Engine, and 3D Touch’s integration with iOS enables a lot of useful and time-saving shortcuts.
My personal favourites are using 3D Touch to bring up Quick Actions in app menus and ‘Peek and Pop’ where pressure touches on emails and URLs will show you previews without having to open them.
Why would Apple remove this genuine differentiator from its phones? To cut costs and save space.
The Taptic Engine which powers 3D Touch is large and expensive, so Apple can increase its profit margins and, potentially, use the space for something else, such as a larger battery (where improvements are expected). Furthermore, the iPhone XR lacks 3D Touch but is still the best selling iPhone, which I suspect gave Apple the ‘courage’ to believe the feature is expendable.
That said, the decision still sits uncomfortably with me. 3D Touch is an industry benchmark and moving to standard haptic touch feedback (like all rivals) is a clear downgrade. As such, Apple’s best (and most expensive) 2019 iPhones will have inferior technology to the iPhone 6S and that’s not how progress should work.
Interestingly, the move was first tipped in April 2018 but news of its confirmation is still a blow. Especially in a year when Apple needs cutting edge internals (not just catch-up features) if it is going to persuade you to buy the ugliest iPhones ever.