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WSJ: iPhone 6S will support haptics, might come in pink

Mar. 10, 2015 11:23 PM ETApple Inc. (AAPL)AAPL, IMMRBy: Eric Jhonsa, SA News Editor20 Comments
  • A day after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) showed off both a smartwatch and a 12" retina MacBook featuring haptic Force Touch sensors that let users send different software commands based on how hard they press, the WSJ reports Apple plans to add the technology to its next-gen iPhones.
  • The paper also states the next-gen iPhones will have 4.7" and 5.5" displays (no surprise), and that Apple is testing a pink color option to go with its current silver, gold, and space grey options.
  • Apple demoed several Force Touch-related features for Mac OS apps at yesterday's event; Mail, Safari, and the Finder app were among the covered products. Messages, Music, and Calendar are among the Apple Watch apps with Force Touch controls; 3rd-party developers can also write apps supporting the technology.
  • Immersion (NASDAQ:IMMR) has licensed its haptic software and patents to many Android phone OEMs, and could strike more Android deals if the WSJ's report pans out. During its Q4 CC (transcript), when asked whether it plans to reach a licensing deal with or sue Apple, Immersion simply stated its guidance doesn't assume any Apple revenue or litigation expenses.
  • Meanwhile, a slew of hands-on reactions have been provided for Apple Watch from writers given a chance to test the device at Apple's event. The consensus: The Watch has plenty of interesting features and apps - here's a run-down of 3rd-party apps - but compared with the iPhone/iPad, its UI can be confusing to a new user.
  • Bloomberg's Stephen Pulvirent: "On first use, the device felt a little confusing and clumsy. Sometimes it seemed to do one thing; at other times, just the opposite ... it seems like the interplay between tapping, swiping, and turning the crown will take some getting used to."
  • The NYT's Farhad Manjoo: "Whether it’s calling an Uber car, checking into your hotel or answering a text, the watch will allow you to interact with the digital world at a glance, in a less outwardly antisocial way than you now do with your phone ... Should you really spend hundreds of dollars, let alone thousands, on a gadget to free you from the inconvenience of accessing your $650 smartphone? That remains the deepest unanswered question about the Apple Watch."

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Comments (20)

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PDavid profile picture
Made me laugh
Apple has made clunkers before. The G4 cube comes to mind.

That being said, I'm not certain the watch is DOA. The S1 processor is better than the one in the first iPhone. And I depend on having a watch on my wrist. I wear one regardless and a nice watch is costly in the first place.

A watch that functions also as a computer on the wrist is fairly compelling. The battery life is the real problem. 24 hours is bad enough, but an 18 hour battery life is a major inconvenience. I like being able to just put my watch on and not have to think about charging it. But the additional functionality might be worth the inconvenience. That remains to be seen.

The new MacBooks seem to be the clunkers as far as I am concerned. I would plunk money down on the watch, but have absolutely no interest in the laptops.
Apples first clunker
User 509088 profile picture
it's a wearable, hands off, semi-autonomous tool for individuals. the first such tool we've developed as a race.
Yawn... It seems to be a slow year for Apple.

No sane would overlook the gorgeous Galaxy S6 and the pressure it brings to Apple. 20 million pre-orders, wow! Samsung Pay, with 90% retailer acceptance rate, it's hard to imagine what not to like if contactless payment is your cup of tea. I personally do not care, but Apple has a tough fight ahead.
@Malbeaver... Yep... YAWN, Android fractured OS, cheap plastic phones... ecosystem that doesn't come close. 20 million pre-orders, whoopty-freakin'do. We'll reconvene when the "actual numbers" come in.
Smart company selling junk to the public.People will buy anything such as life.
The watch use will spread like a forrest fire. It is on your wrist, there!
CandleFlight profile picture
Haptic capability would certainly enhance typing on such a future iPhone. How much it could helps depends largely on the specific implementation. If Apple could create acoustic waves that add up under a specific key area that was pressed, it would be better than a response to the general screen area. A good way would be to create solitons from edge-mounted transducers, but other approaches could likely work as well. Also, there are differences between actual pressed pressure differences and people's perceptions of those differences. Apple would certainly consider this in calibrating how touch force is used as an additional user data entry tool.

As for pink... Such an iPhone would make a perfect retirement gift for Dame Edna!
Hardog profile picture

too much technical updates for me to follow.
The problem with phones is that it takes so much effort to perform functions that people are zoned out of the their immediate environment.
Perhaps the watch is on the way to doing the same functions but in a way that works more discreetly, allowing us to be attentive to our surroundings.
imac007 profile picture
Apple seems to be defining how people interact with their world. The watch lets them use voice to reach out and touch the world around them, when their phone is put away. Since the watch is a computer it can wirelessly use other computers as slaves, to store info, do searches, run apps, or retrieve custom data. Many times that will be an iPhone in a purse or pocket.

The ability to nudge at a distance, to connect to your own physiology and share it, both personally and professionally, has interesting implications. Now with their open source medical software they look to become the interface there, expanding on their dominance in medicine.

Every major car maker is using the Apple interface and that standardization is just one more way they are becoming the operating system for the Internet of Things. Cook talked about the user interface problems with television. We access menus like they used to find songs on a cassette tape. You need to dig down through menus and back out of them. The random access ability is simply not available with any impact on current interfaces. Voice, gestures and selection buttons on a simple remote using iOS look to be in the future. HomeKit should allow the watch to access the computer in a new iOS computer link to the next generation AppleTV. App development for HomeKit access to the AppleTV through the watch would allow users to simply use voice or simple selection using the watch. Turn lights on/off, control temperature, lock doors, set alarms, review settings or tomorrow's calendar without turning on a TV or finding and digging out your phone. The voice is key to the user interface of the operating system of all things and wearable computers are the key first step.

Apple acquired Novauris which allows connection to voice recognition without going on the Internet. They bought PrimeSense because gestures are a key part of tomorrow's interface too. People know they would be better off if they weren't stuck at a desk all day. The computer ties many to that desk. The iPad freed me to go anywhere. Encouraging people to move about and interact in meaningful ways with interactive holography. We see shows like CSI, laying documents and data out on interactive displays that let them work in a physical way, moving, sorting, examining using more than a mouse. Tomorrow offers so much more than confinement to a 3 foot circle at a desk chair. The 5K screen appears to be the first with enough resolution to be scaled up and still be usable at 12 feet. Voice command, gesture recognition and wireless connectivity will define the user interface. Apple are just making sure they are the first ones there. A foothold as the standard user interface promises them decades of growth. The short sighted only see near term catalysts. Perhaps analysts and investors need to broaden their insight into the scope of Apple's strategy and the breadth of time that strategy will impact.
In regards to every major car manufacturer using apple....and tying that to IoT.... Thank goodness for everyone's sake that QNX will be the RTOS behind the apple facade.
@imac007 - "Every major car maker is using the Apple interface".

With such a long post, I thought you should have done enough research to know that from Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, to Porsche, BMW are all using BlackBerry QNX. And that's old news. Apple CarPlay was based on QNX.
imac007 profile picture
I know all about QNX and have written about it. The iOS user interface is the key. When you look at the penetration of QNX in industrial, research and medical applications, the fact that iOS can provide a standard user interface across that entire spectrum is the point. Standardization is always cheaper across a business. Less training, fewer specialists and predictability. The fact that a technology is in their car can make it more compelling if equipment works the same way at work. This can't hurt adoption.
I agree with you. It has to be able stand alone.
vote4weber profile picture
Pink is the color to entice MB to switch over from BBBY....
HiSpeed profile picture
I think one of the features that attracted people to the original iphone was the concept of replacing two devices (ipod + phone) with one device (iphone), which does everything. The watch forces users back into having two devices.

To have more appeal, the watch needs to operate as an autonomous unit - not just an iphone accessory imo.
vote4weber profile picture
Pink is the perfect color to entice Blair over to AAPL
bjnflicks profile picture
The Apple miracle never ends.
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