[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Display, the display-making unit of tech giant Samsung Electronics, is currently working on a pressure-sensitive touch display based on organic light-emitting diodes for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8, industry sources said on March 14.
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The pressure-sensitive touch functionality, more widely known as 3-D touch or Force Touch, allows compatible devices to sense different levels of pressure on the screen and enables users to utilize diverse smartphone functions such as brining up shortcut menus or zooming photos. The technology was thrust into the limelight when it was first featured in Apple’s iPhone 6S in 2015.
Ahead of the highly anticipated debut of the new iPhone -- the first OLED iPhone -- in September, Samsung Display, the sole OLED supplier, has been ramping up efforts to incorporate a 3-D Touch sensor to the display screen.
“The latest technology boasts higher sensitivity and a wider range of pressure-sensing levels compared to the previous one used in Huawei’s P9 in 2015,” a source told The Investor on condition of anonymity.
According to the source, Samsung Display showcased the display technology to select partners at a VIP meeting during the Mobile World Congress trade show in February in Barcelona. But he declined to further elaborate on the technological upgrades and the attending VIPs.
He also noted that the demonstration event signals the imminent 3-D Touch adoption by Samsung Electronics and other handset makers.
Samsung’s new flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 is expected to partly use the 3-D Touch technology for its “virtual home button” on the bottom of the display screen that allows users to open up menus and navigate the phone, while the fingerprint-scanning home button will be relocated to the back.
After the partial adoption for the S8 that will be unveiled on March 29, sources said, Samsung’s next flagship phones such as the Galaxy Note 8 are likely to embrace the pressure-sensitive touch technology on the entire screen.
Samsung Display’s previous version of a 3-D Touch-equipped OLED display has been used in some smartphones, including the Huawei P9, but its sister firm Samsung Electronics has not yet adopted the display possibly due to less technological sophistication.
By Kim Young-won (email@example.com