Apple may be phasing out 3D Touch with next year’s iPhones, according to a research note from Barclays analysts obtained by MacRumors. According to analyst Blayne Curtis, who met with companies in Apple’s Asian supply chain, it’s “widely understood” among suppliers that 3D Touch won’t be incorporated in the 2019 OLED iPhone models. Of course, as with most analyst reports, they emphasize that plans aren’t finalized, so things could still change.
3D Touch was introduced with the iPhone 6s in 2015, and continued to be available on all subsequent models with the exception of the iPhone SE. While the feature was originally touted as a way to open up more user interactions by being able to “peek” at things like messages, e-mails, and calendar events, as well as calling up widgets and shortcut menus from the home screen, the technology never expanded beyond the iPhone, and may have not lived up to its full potential due to the inability to use it for interactions that had to be available on older iPhone models, the iPhone SE, and of course the iPad. In addition, the feature continues to lack discoverability, resulting in many casual iPhone users not even being aware the feature exists. While Apple’s decision to eliminate the feature is likely based more on reducing costs and complexity of newer iPhone models, it’s unclear what, if anything, might replace it, particularly in light of the newer more gesture-based iPhone X UI design.