back to article BIG, CURVY Apple models: Just right for SLAP AND TICKLE

Apple is building a new, larger, curved iPhone which will include pressure-sensitive sensors to detect how hard fanbois squeeze and fondle their small slab, it has been claimed. According to a report on Bloomberg, an unnamed Apple source said a new iPhone slated for release next year would include a larger display with glass …


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  1. Paul Shirley

    hope this pushes Android to improve it's existing pressure support

    Real pressure sensing will be nice. While Android has reported pressure on touch since 2.0 (Eclair) it's been device specific and usually a poor precision hack if present at all. Apple applying some evolutionary pressure has to be a good thing ;)

    1. Flawless101

      Re: hope this pushes Android to improve it's existing pressure support

      How about some useful pressure and dump investment into making a battery that will last days. There's a real innovative idea.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: hope this pushes Android to improve it's existing pressure support

        Peratech were featured in one of the Engineering trade journals just the other week... the first product using their material is a cordless drill, which goes faster the harder you squeeze the (non-moving) trigger.

        The website is worth a look, not only for an overview of the technology, but for this:

        "How we work

        Initial Contact

        Peratech is fully aware of the need for commercial non-disclosure with regards today's product development cycles. With that in mind, after making first contact with our team it is then standard practice to mutually sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement so that both parties core IP and products are protected."

        ...making a El Reg's attempt at getting a comment from them seem optimistic!

      2. Wize

        Re: hope this pushes Android to improve it's existing pressure support

        "... making a battery that will last days."

        It will last for days...

        ...if you put the bloody thing down once in a while.

    2. SuccessCase

      Re: hope this pushes Android to improve it's existing pressure support

      It needs to be borne in mind Boomberg have a very poor record with their Apple predictions.

      If the display is curved, I expect the actual display inside the glass will be curved, as that is now a technical capability display manufacturers have and I expect it would be used to produce a bevel-less phone. But if they did that, though it could be made to look quite striking, there would need to be a non-pressure sensitive curved side to the display. Not sure that could be done without knowing setting false expectations about which parts of the handset are responsive to touch.

    3. Kroneous

      Re: hope this pushes Android to improve it's existing pressure support

      Say what? We're not talking touch sensitivity, we're talking varied pressure sensitivity. Like an S-Pen on SAMSUNG's devices. But any system meant to interpret finger pressure is of limited value, since it would need a on screen meter to let you know how much pressure you were applying. Had a few beers too many and got in a fight without that, and you'll end up breaking your phone screen, because of your anger otherwise.

      They'll be lucky to get two or three pressure levels, when a stylus can have 1000's with direct feedback. Instead on one of these devices you'll be repeatedly trying to press to get what you're after and a huge downside will be competitors all publicly joking that, "You're Pressing that iPhone the Wrong Way"!

      BTW.... As to a curved screen? Come on, Samsung has already demonstrated one first!

      Plus I still have an old Kyocera Smartphone with the Frown (curved down screen) viewed from top or bottom!

      But what is really hard to get across to people, is the fact that Apple will not be using their own technology. Instead they'll buy parts customized so they can say they invented first and I don't think Apple's arrogance and ignorance of Reality rather than it's own REALITY DISTORTION FIELD... died when Steve did!

  2. BigAndos

    Am I misunderstanding?

    The article says it curves *down* at the edges, implying a convex shape as you look at the screen. I would expect a concave shape as you look at the screen (edges curving up) would be much more comfortable to hold (e.g. Galaxy round). Am I being dense?

    1. Tom_

      Re: Am I misunderstanding?

      From the way this article's written it sounds more like the edges are just rounded off a bit. Maybe this isn't even part of the visible display, but just the glass bevel bending around the sides of the phone. I'm not sure what would be so innovative about curved glass, though. I mean, drinking glasses have managed to have curved edges for hundreds of years.

    2. Ralph B

      Re: Am I misunderstanding?

      > The article says it curves *down* at the edges

      The Apple iBananaPhone. You know you want it.

      1. MrT


        ... bapple

      2. Fink-Nottle

        Re: Am I misunderstanding?

        > The Apple iBananaPhone. You know you want it.

        The real question is, which model - B1 or B2?

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: Am I misunderstanding?

          "The real question is, which model - B1 or B2?"

          Either way, keep'em away from teddy bears!

    3. N13L5

      Re: Am I misunderstanding?

      A concave display (old Samsung Nexus) has the following advantages:

      1) decreased reflections.

      2) decreased chance to get scratched over most of its surface.


      For A convex display (new iPhone), I can only think of disadvantages at the moment:

      1) a large increase in reflections, like a fish eye, it'll pick up freakin everything

      2) increased chance of collecting scratches over all of its surface. (hence Apple's new plant for synthetic sapphire glass)


      If someone can think of ANY advantage for a convex display, please do tell!

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    uncritical acceptance?

    > a new curved iPhone

    Has anyone analysed the screens of phones (or monitors, for that matter) and come up with any functional benefits that would accrue from a non-flat screen?

    I have a distinct feeling that this gimmick falls into the "because we can" category for the fashion conscious and could well be the next 3D so far as irrelevant and pointless technological changes (I nearly said: advances) are concerned.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: uncritical acceptance?

      I have the distinct feeling this gimmick falls into the 'Samsung and LG have already done it' category.

      1. Mark .

        Re: uncritical acceptance?

        Indeed, and won't it be one of those two companies making the screens that Apple will get credited for? Unless they've started moving into screen manufacturing themselves.

        I thought pressure-sensitivity already exists on some Windows tablets, though that's just for real work, I guess no one's exploited it for fart apps yet.

        1. Mark .

          Re: uncritical acceptance?

          Edit: Actually never mind Windows tablets - pressure-sensitivity has existed for years on Samsung Galaxy Notes, available in 5-6", 8" and 10" sizes (as well as some of the Windows tablets). It's through a pen - I don't know if they have it for pure touch - but for most purposes (e.g., a drawing application), that's preferred. Musical instruments are the most obvious use case for pressure-sensitive touch, but things like a keyboard are terrible without a big screen (I tried on my Nexus 7, but it's just a toy or gimmick at that size). Using it for the UI seems something that would be terribly unintuitive in most cases - people would have no idea whether clicking something was meant to do something, or if they have to instead click it harder or softer. And a Z direction for navigating applications already exists, it's called having a folder hierarchy that my old feature phone could do 8 years ago.

        2. Philippe

          Re: uncritical acceptance?

          Real work on a Windows tablet?

          Yes, there was some serious work involved in getting the thing to connect to a Domain..

          1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

            Re: uncritical acceptance?

            You don't expect a Microsoft product to work with another Microsoft product out of the box, do you?

            I just remember the amount of aggravation I had getting Entourage (included in Office 2008) to talk properly to our exchange server. Eventually, I gave up and just used OSX Mail, which actually worked brilliantly with exchange.

            I also remember the pain I had getting my HTC Tytn II to connect to my PC when it was running Vista. After a fair amount of patching, it worked but I am surprised that as both products were out at roughly the same time that it didn't just work out of the box.

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    coming soon to a phone near you

    one that wobbles around when placed on a flat surface thus making it unusable unless held in your other hand.

    How can you use it one handed? impossible methinks.

    total and abject failure (IMHO)

    Not just a future iPhone but ANY phone that is like this.

    1. My Alter Ego

      Re: coming soon to a phone near you

      No reason for it wobble, the back doesn't have to be curved for it to have a curved screen. My Galaxy Nexus has a curved screen which is great because I can place it face down on a flat surface and it won't get damaged.

      I've seen a lot of people suggesting that it's so you get more pixels for a given size - not sure what curvature they think will be used!

  5. sandman

    Mature technology

    It does seem if phones have now reached some sort of plateau of maturity. Most have a similar form factor, run for a reasonable (if not great) amount of time, have fairly mature OSs (and yes, I'm including Win and even Blackberry here) and are operated in roughly the same way.

    There are plenty of incremental improvements that can be made, thumbs up to Sony for waterproofing for example and Nokia for trying something new in the camera department.

    It's going to be more and more difficult for any company to claim that you must buy their phone because it has made a great leap forward, so attempts to differentiate with curves, tassels and bells are something we'll be putting up with for a while.

    1. BigAndos

      Re: Mature technology

      I have an iPhone 4S. If Apple released a 4S+ that was identical in every way with a battery that lasted two days and better reception I would seriously consider buying it. I don't think I can ask for much else now!

      I've been considering swapping it for a Nexus 5 when my contract is up, but it won't let me do much new apart from types of application (e.g. emulators) not allowed in the walled garden. Therefore, think I'll leave it and go sim only!

  6. Mike Bell

    Not enthused by this

    If I see something that looks like a Pringle, I'd be tempted to eat it.

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not enthused by this

      Mmmmm, crunchy!


  7. Anonymous Coward

    Of course...

    The pressure sensors could also be used to void your warranty in case you pressed it a bit too hard...

  8. Frankee Llonnygog

    the only way to assess how vigorously a note has been played on the iPhone ...

    ... is through the accelerometer

    If only phones came with built in microphones

  9. Wize

    So many users think that pushing a button, on a non functioning app, harder will make it work even before pressure sensitive screens.

  10. Clive Galway

    Always preferred resistive

    So we are back to the beginning are we?

    I always preferred pressure based (Which the old resistive screens were), it was only because they didn't come out with multi-touch resistive quite in time that I think capacitive so took over.

    Also resistive is unaffected by rain on the screen, and usable without special gloves - much better here in the UK.

    I suspect this will be some form of capacitive hack, rather than just accepting pressure based is better, but whatever.

    1. jubtastic1
      Thumb Up

      Re: Always preferred resistive

      Yes, it was only the lack of multitouch that was holding resistive tech back, well that and the fact it was a total crapshoot that wandered out of calibration like an Irishman on St Patricks day, although to be fair, it had exactly the same level of precision frustration when you were wearing gloves.

  11. Julian Taylor

    Astroturfing ...

    "According to a report on Bloomberg, an unnamed Apple source said ... "

    If this was a blog you would know immediately that this was a fake story.

  12. Joey

    I remember a time...

    ... when car windscreens were flat. Don't see many of those these days. On an iPhone (with a larger screen than the current model) a curved edge will make it easier to operate with one hand as your thumb will not be restricted by a sharpish edge. Makes sense to me.

  13. relpy


    "The frowning phone will also come complete with unprecedented pressure sensitivity"

    "Interestingly, Samsung has licensed a similar technology from a British firm called Peratech."

    So, by "unprecendented" we mean "precedented"?

    1. PsychicMonkey

      Re: Errr...

      Ah but when Apple do it, it has to be first, don't let trivial things like facts get in the way. They are probably filing the patent for it and sharpening the knives as we type...

  14. Creamy-G00dness

    Am i correct in thinking the Nokia Lumia series all have glass that curves *down* at the edges? Not that it would matter seeing as apple have now invented it.

    1. EddieD

      Aye, they do.

      As did my 1978 Casio calculator.

  15. Matthew 17

    Why are phones getting bigger again?

    Seriously, if it keeps going we'll have 80's bricks and 'car' phones again.

    1. Eradicate all BB entrants

      Re: Why are phones getting bigger again?

      I remember my brothers mobile car phone, basically a handset wired to a car battery with a car radio aerial. Negated the need for a gym membership.

  16. Slacker@work

    And on the 80's theme....

    Anybody else suddenly have a mental image of Dean Stockwell as Ziggy in Quantum Leap??

  17. CmdrX3

    Another report from the usual suspects

    An unnamed source, someone familiar with the situation, a source close to apple.... at least deep throat actually DID know what the fuck was going on unlike most of these unnamed muppets.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope this isn't true

    I don't want a phone with a curved screen. I see no real benefit, just some hand waving by people trying to justify this as a "feature" rather than just another gimmick.

    If it is curved I hope it is extremely minimal, and the back of the phone is still flat, because if it looks like the two recent curved phones that have been shown I won't be upgrading, but hanging on and hoping they fix this mistake with the 6S :)

    Pressure sensing would be nice however. Adding another dimension to the operation of a touchscreen has some obvious advantages. But it has to be pretty precise to be useful, if it is just "light pressure" and "heavy pressure" it won't be worth much.

  19. cyrus

    Does this mean

    I can weigh marajuana on the display of these iPhones?

  20. Sureo

    If you squeeze it hard enough will it call 911 (emergency)?

  21. OrsonX

    Just make it foldable already

    and stop pissing about.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. dssf

    SINthetic Ahhhpuurrrchur at the back of the device?

    I can see the aftermarket 'dresss-up' wigs and other kit being sold in the immediate release days, now that the thing will be "squeezable"..

    Brings back memories of "Don't SQUEEZE the Charmin'"

    To make sure there is no revisionist historian activity, for the moment, "applegasm" has nothing to do with fondling, stroking, or attempted impregnation of one's curvy slab... YET... But, when it DDOES, we'll REALLLLLLY see a new rise i the meaning of the term "grew legs"....

    Now, with embedded byros and accels, Apple can clandestinely beat microsoft to the LCSW and sex therapy industry..... purrrrrrf*ct...

    Maybe RealDolls will be produced with AppaRoo pouches for the benefit of those trying to fondle their slab while gripping the ab... SO THIS explains all those "cat" and feline project names, purrrrf*ctt...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    now the phone will actually be able to tell you that you're holding it wrong

  25. N13L5

    Re: now the phone will actually be able to tell you that you're holding it wrong

    These are the kinds of advances Crapple and Microcruft are aiming for these days: self serving.

    And Greedle is following right along, with their forced exclusion of Micro SD card slots from Nexus devices in order to force you into their cloud.

    More people should vote with their dollars for Ubuntu phones, to show these corporate slime bags they can't get away with everything.

  26. Maharg

    Mr An Unnamed

    I think you will find Mr Anloyoshenkaivaiak Unnamed (pronounced U-Nahmed) has been working for Apple for a long time and is well placed to give information.

    Growing up in rural Turhabeskistain, An (for short) became fascinated with technology when as a young boy he first saw a MiG 27 strafing his village.

    He set off at the age of 12 and travelled the 9,000 miles to Moscow by following telephone lines, along the way he met a number of engineers and after 3 years was employed as a member of the Soviet state telephone company.

    He quickly showed promise and understanding of technology and was drafted by the KGB to reverse engineer a number of western devices found hidden in rocks in parks around the city.

    After the fall of the USSR he left and moved to the USA working for a number of tech companies looking to invest in Eastern Europe. he moved to Apple in 1997 and has been there since.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Witness, Apple market research in progress.

    Hint: They're not making a squishy phone.

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