Apple’s anticipated “iPhone 6s,” the next-generation smartphone that’s due to be announced in September, should feature a pressure-sensitive Force Touch display (à la Apple Watch and the new MacBook). But according to one prominent analyst, this new feature alone isn’t going to be enough to drive iPhone upgrades.
Ming-Chi Kuo, from KGI Securities, is the analyst with this opinion. And when it comes to Apple analysis, Kuo is generally on the ball. In a recent note to investors (via Apple Insider), Kuo argued that Force Touch, which premiered earlier this year on the Apple Watch, isn’t a game-changing feature. Unlike Siri (which pushed sales of the iPhone 4s) and Touch ID (which did the same for the iPhone 5s), the analyst feels that Force Touch isn’t something consumers see as being a must-have feature — at least, not for the iPhone.
Because of this, Kuo feels that iPhone growth could actually take a step backward this year. He pinpoints sales of between 65 million and 75 million (with sales last year, for instance, being 74.5 million).
On the Apple Watch, Force Touch allows watchOS to determine between light taps, and more firm touches. As such, the operating system is able to offer users a new gesture. The same goes for the new MacBook, which offers a Force Touch gesture using its all-new trackpad.
The question, then, facing consumers like us, is: would you buy a new iPhone 6s for Force Touch alone? Sure, we’ll get an updated A9 processor (and M9 coprocessor), but with Force Touch billed as the new handset’s main selling-point, this is likely going to be the feature advertised on billboards, in magazines, and in TV commercials. Whether it’s enough to convince smartphone owners to make the upgrade (rather than waiting for next year’s “iPhone 7″) remains to be seen.