haptic

GforGames is citing Chinese site Laoyaoba and Taiwanese site Business Weekly for a couple of sketchy iPhone 6 rumors.

First, that the new iPhone will use haptic feedback – using a more sophisticated vibration motor to provide simulated tactile feedback on the display. This report is extremely light on detail, stating only that the motors are made by AAC (an existing Apple supplier) and Jinlong Electrical, and that they cost around two to three times the 60 cent cost of the vibration motor used in the iPhone 5s and 5c … 

A typical use of haptic feedback is to attempt to make pressing an on-screen button feel something like pressing a physical one, but a 2009 Apple patent described something rather more sophisticated: simulating the feel of different types of surface as your finger moves across the screen. From the 2009 report:

Apple’s plan is to have a “grid of piezoelectronic actuators that can be activated on command. By fluctuating the frequency of these actuators, the user will “feel” different surfaces as their finger moves across it.

As always, it’s worth noting that Apple holds patents for a huge number of technologies that never make it into products. We’re putting this rumor into the extremely sketchy category for now.

Second, that Apple has placed orders for an initial run of 68M iPhone 6 handsets. To put this into context, that would be a third more than its initial order for the iPhone 5s.

It’s not a totally outrageous figure – given what appears to be a dramatically different design and likely pent-up demand for larger screens, we’d expect the iPhone 6 to sell well. Business Insider noted back in May that Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said that her supply-chain sources were reporting a 20 percent increase to 61.2M, so this new suggestion isn’t completely out there.

But nobody appears to have heard of the source, so this one too has to go into the distinctly sketchy category.