Apple is said to be testing two configurations of Force Touch technology for the next generation iPhone. Sources told DigiTimes that the new iPhone 6s sensors will be supplied by the same companies manufacturing these panels for Apple Watch. Force Touch makes it possible for devices to discern between a light tap and a heavy press when interacting with the display.
According to the report, a Force Touch sensor layer is likely to be placed below touch panel backlighting. This approach would reduce interference with the in-cell touch panel, however it requires additional components and a new flexible printed circuit design. Another configuration being tested locates the Force Touch sensor directly under the outermost protective screen layer, above the in-cell touch panel.
Force Touch has already debuted on the Apple Watch, new MacBook and updated MacBook Pro trackpad. In addition to sensing how much pressure is applied, Force Touch trackpads also deliver haptic feedback. Adding this new level of interaction to the iPhone is a logical next step. It's possible that Force Touch will initially be limited to one flagship iOS device, such as the iPhone 6s Plus.
Apple has already provided OS X and Watch OS developers with Force Touch APIs, and similar APIs for iOS are likely to come soon. Pressure-sensitive drawing, video scrubbing controls, and force click are examples of what's possible with Force Touch capable software. WWDC is right around the corner, with iOS 9 and the iPhone 6s expected to launch this fall.