With the iPhone X off to a weaker than expected start, Apple has been scrambling to offer better innovations in future devices. As a result, the Apple rumor mill has been working overtime lately. And the latest report says that Apple will follow Samsung by offering curved displays and touchless control on future iPhones.
In the past, these types of reports would have been qualified as mere rumors. But with the chief Apple rumormonger, Mark Gurman, now at Bloomberg, a reputable news source, these stories take on a new air of respectability. It doesn’t hurt that Gurman is usually right, either.
Here’s what’s he’s saying this week.
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“Apple is working on touchless gesture control and curved screens for future iPhones,” he writes. “The control feature would let iPhone users perform some tasks by moving their finger close to the screen without actually tapping it … Apple is also developing iPhone displays that curve inward gradually from top to bottom … So far, every iPhone model has used a flat display.”
Both of these innovations are already available in Samsung flagships, of course. But then Apple has as rich a history copying Samsung now as is the case with the reverse. Last year’s iPhone X borrows the tall, near-bezel-less design that Samsung championed two years earlier. (Though Apple’s “all-screen” design is far less successful than Samsung’s.) The iPhone X was also among the first iPhones to feature wireless charging, a feature that’s been available in Android handsets for years.
Apple often moves slowly to adopt new technologies. But the issue for the firm this time around is that the iPhone X has been a lot less successful than the company had hopes. Apple didn’t meet its internal sales goals for the device and has already cut component shipments from suppliers twice as a result.
These two features will not arrive in this year’s iPhones. In fact, at least one of them could be at least two years away from shipping. In the meantime, Apple will evolve the technologies it delivered first in the iPhone X, and it will offer more display size and pricing options too.
<p>The question, I have is …. why would anyone need to control their phone without touching it? Even if Apple was successful in copying this Samsung first, what would be the point? I've tried this with the Galaxy phone in the past and I have shown others how to do it, but it's hard to see people doing this "kinect-thing" on a frequent basis.</p>
<p>I think any experienced theremin player would find a touchless interface quite natural.</p>
<blockquote><a href="#259890"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p>Somehow I don't think you're representative of the average smartphone user. Just a hunch :)</p><p><br></p><p>I always thought it would be interesting to augment a theremin by adding a virtual transparent "keyboard" that would allow you to "pick" the notes you want to hit. But I guess the Theremini makes it less useful since it can quantize the notes which makes them easier to select.</p>
<blockquote><a href="#259681"><em>In reply to Daekar:</em></a></blockquote><p>They're run out of ideas on how to make these smartphones more capable so their focusing on styles. They are improving the cameras but the average person will still take crappy pictures. </p>