Popular and uncannily reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a rather grave prediction for the iPhone series of 2018. According to the analyst, 2018 would mark the beginning of the end for one of the iPhone's most unique features: 3D Touch. Kuo believes that Apple will be transitioning to a new type of display for its smartphones, and the new material set to be utilized would not be compatible with the feature.
In a research note reported by Cult of Mac, Kuo stated that Apple's supply chain had informed him that the lower-priced 6.1-inch iPhone expected this fall would debut a Cover Glass Sensor (CGS) process, which means that the touch sensor would not be integrated with the actual display any longer. This makes the 3D Touch unit of the current-generation iPhones (save for the iPhone SE, of course) incompatible with the incoming model.
Apple fans who like 3D Touch would still have the chance to acquire devices with the functionality this year, however, as Kuo also noted that Apple would likely release the top-tier iPhone X successors with the feature. Eventually, the Apple analyst believes that it would only be a matter of time before 3D Touch is completely retired from the company's devices.
As noted in a Forbes report, the prospect of 3D Touch being retired is quite unfortunate. The feature, after all, was quite novel, despite it not really going fully mainstream with Apple's devices. If any, the blame for the death of 3D Touch lies with Apple, since the company did not really roll out the feature to its other existing devices. Thus, products such as the iPad Pro series, which could have benefitted from the feature, did not really receive any support.So what will Apple replace 3D Touch with? Most likely, nothing, really. The traditional long press for options has worked well for Android devices over the past few years. Apple's tablet line also uses the same long press system. When the iPhone series relinquishes its 3D Touch functionality, it would ultimately just be a matter of Apple standardizing the features on its devices across the board.