iPhone 11 may ditch 3D Touch for cheaper alternative

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Debuting almost four years ago with 2015's release of the iPhone 6S, Apple's 3D Touch technology offered a radical new way for users to interact with their iPhones, allowing for three levels of pressure-sensitive control over apps and OS functions.

Now, analysts for British investment bank Barclays claim the Cupertino company is about to ditch 3D Touch in its upcoming 2019 iPhone range, with Apple instead opting to replace it with the cheaper (and, technically, inferior) Haptic Touch technology that was introduced in last year's iPhone XR, as reported by MacRumors.

The Barclays team, which made the original claim back in August of last year, says it has now confirmed that the feature "will be eliminated" from all iPhones released in 2019, stating they received the information from Apple's suppliers in Asia.  

Haptic Touch differs from 3D Touch in that it doesn’t offer pressure sensitivity, so pressing harder on the screen will no longer activate different menus and features in apps. Instead, Haptic Touch requires users to do a 'long-press' to achieve the same result, which can significantly slow down the process. 

If the claim does prove accurate, it likely won't be the end of the world for Apple phone fans – a quick poll of half a dozen iPhone-owning friends and colleagues showed most were unaware that pressing harder performed different actions, and those that did only used it in one or two specific places. 

That said, the downgrade will mean that the iPhone 11 has one less premium feature to differentiate itself from the more affordable XR – of course, we won't know for sure until the next iPhone is officially revealed.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.