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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending July 18

John Cox | July 21, 2014
Apple iPhone 6 scuttlebutt includes: Delay by bottleneck(s), or not, happy haptics, battery woes.

Here's the Google Translate version of the original Chinese: "Recently, micro-grid set from Foxconn that Apple iPhone 6 there is a very important secret weapon, that is - the tactile feedback linear motor (Haptics). Simple, tactile feedback is a more intelligent motor vibration motor, according to different application scenarios, allowing users to feel a different sense of shock and can emit slightly different subtle vibrations on the touch screen of the different locations."

The Rollup's translation is more succinct: "Don't hold your breath."

Haptic technology (from a Greek word that derives from "to grasp") use a variety of techniques to create tactile sensations (forces, vibrations, motions) than can be used to create and control virtual objects, or to fine tune control of remote machines or devices. It's used in a variety of focused applications, such as sophisticated simulators to help in training surgeons, and for various gaming platforms, such Valve's Steam Controller. For years, there's been an effort to apply more advanced haptics to mobile devices, beyond the most common, and most basic one: the cell phone's vibrator.

Apple's interest in haptics is shown by a number of published patents, the most recent apparently from May 2012, which describes a flexible OLED screen that could change its contours, to create a circular button to be pressed for example. But the size and thinness, and battery operation, of smartphones (even if you believe Apple will create a 5.5-inch iPhone 6) create a whole new set of challenges.

The two scenarios that would make most sense for Apple to use haptic technology would be to apply it to an existing iPhone feature, such as the onscreen keyboard to enable the typing experience to mimic that of using a physical keyboard, or to integrate haptics deeply into iOS, in other words, to recast the user interface (a variant of this would be to combine haptics with a 3-D user interface, along the lines of what Disney Research is exploring).

So far, no one has revealed anything in the current iOS 8 beta software that shows even a hint of haptic interfaces.

iPhone 6 battery "design bottleneck" solved but it will still be a lousy battery
GForGames continued its string of confused and confusing postings about the allegedly pervasive iPhone 6 battery problems. Last week, the site's Mihai Matei revealed that the iPhone 6 battery - despite having more milliampere-hours (mAh) than the iPhone 5c/5s battery will leave users worse off. His conclusion was based on "the entire Chinese mobile media [which] has started passing along a new rumor concerning the iPhone 6."

Based on one, anonymous, unsourced post, The Entire Chinese Media revealed that the 4.7-inch model would have a battery between 1,800 and 1,900 mAh, and the 5.5-inch model a battery of 2500 mAh, compared to the current 5c/5s battery of 1,570 mAh. "However, due to the fact that the next-gen iPhone is also expected to pack a larger 4.7-inch display, pretty much every Apple fan in China who has stumbled across this report is now wondering if 1,800 mAh is enough," Matei writes. "We're in the same boat too."


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