iPhone SE is Here, but No 3D Touch Feature: Here’s Why

iPhone SE

Apple released iPhone SE after months of rumors. The long-awaited pint-sized smartphone comes with a form factor that borrows a lot from the likes of iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S.

The phone’s main target it to capture the upcoming markets with a device that packs the same specs under the hood as its flagships, but costs lower than the 2014 and 2015 flagships.

Priced at $399 for the 16GB model, this device is actually the most cost-friendly device Apple has ever launched. Apple now wants to take on the likes of Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi in the mid-range department with this sub $400 smartphone. Apple did not have to go through lots of trouble in order to come up with this device; it is no wonder the price tag is at this point.

The company only recycled the materials it used to make the iPhone 5S as far as the design is concerned, then stuffed in some of the components used to put together the iPhone 6 and 6S. As far as the former is concerned, Cupertino went for an A9 chipset that comes along with an M9 co-processor, a 12MP iSight rear snapper and the communications suite. On the iPhone 6’s side, the iPhone SE took up the 1.2MP FaceTime selfie camera and the Touch ID module.

iPhone SE

There is no doubt that the new iPhone SE has a great-looking body as well as appealing components that conform to the latest technology standards. However, there is still one thing missing on this phone – 3D Touch technology. This is a pressure-sensitive feature that Apple introduced with the 2015 flagship. The tool lets users access gestures such as Peek and Pop when dealing with content previews, quick actions and so on.

So, why did Apple leave out 3D Touch feature on iPhone SE?

One major reason why Apple could not include the 3D Touch feature in the iPhone SE is cost. This is both to the company and the consumer. As far as the company is concerned, the 3D Touch feature had to be reengineered in order to fit into the new form factor, which is, of course, costly. With the company incurring higher production costs, the obvious would be an overpriced device, which means the customer is unhappy.

iPhone 6S Plus

Earlier reports had indicated that this technology would not be included in the iPad Pro that accompanied the iPhone SE at the Monday launch event due to the same form factor reasons. As it turns out, this was true as the 9.7-inch tablet only came in with an Apple Pencil and no 3D Touch. At the moment, it seems the 3D Touch hardware has been engineered for the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch devices.

Speaking of form factor, the size of the iPhone SE could not just accommodate the 3D Touch hardware. When the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus were released, they were 0.2mm thicker than the previous iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. This is due to the hardware associated with this pressure-sensitive feature. With Apple engineers keen not to come in with an extremely thick phone, there was little they could do to accommodate this feature. There will also be more costs as a lot of retooling will have to be done.


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