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  • 4G iPhone to Have Touch-Sensitive Case?

    As the tablet becomes (apparently) closer and closer to reality, rumor-mongers are turning their attention to the fourth generation iPhone. As Apple has updated the phone every year since it was first introduced in 2007, the expectation is that there will be a new iPhone this summer. Recent rumors have had the so-called iPhone 4G coming in a Verizon-compatible CDMA model in addition to the current UMTS/GSM device, and with a videoconferencing ability, among other guesses. The latest is somewhat unexpected: that the phone will have multi-touch capabilities built into its case, turning the phone into what is essentially a mobile version of the recently released Magic Mouse.

    Goldman Sachs analyst Robert Chen said, in an interview with Bloomberg, that the new iPhone will have a touch-sensitive plastic case and a five-megapixel camera. Chen, touted by Bloomberg as "a member of Asia’s top-ranked technology hardware research team" says this would bring multi-touch and gesture controls on the rear of the iPhone that are like the Magic Mouse's. “Apple’s going to put a lot of innovation, not just on the hardware, but also on the software of the new iPhone,” he said.

    The analyst also told Bloomberg that he thinks that the phone will go into production in April in time for a June launch, right on track with Apple's historical schedule: the original iPhone was released in June 2007, with the 3G coming in July of 2008 and followed by the 3GS last June.

    Though a back-controlled phone seems counter-intuitive, Apple applied for a patent back in 2006 for what it referred to as an "Electronic Device Having Display and Surrounding Touch Sensitive Bezel for User Interface and Control." The patent showed a dual-sided, touch sensitive device that is all display on the front, with the touch-sensitive back and sides of the device used for the controls. It said that by this method, more of the screen can be used for displaying graphics, with control buttons embedded in the touch surface. In certain contexts, though, where using the sides would be impractical because the user is gripping the device, on-screen buttons would be used.

    Though the touch-sensitive case rumor is new, other sources have reported that Apple is purchasing five-megapixel sensors from a Taiwanese supplier for use in the next-generation iPhone.

    image via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 4G iPhone to Have Touch-Sensitive Case? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 31 Comments
    1. crazyxbo11's Avatar
      crazyxbo11 -
      sweet =]
    1. wissman's Avatar
      wissman -
      Gg !!
    1. cm2047's Avatar
      cm2047 -
      So much for using a case to protect your phone, unless there will now be touch sensitive cases.
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      Touch sensitive case??? Even if this is true, I can only shudder at the astronomical damage it will do to our pockets in terms of cost, cos I certainly don't see Apple giving it away for free!!!

      All the same, I'll believe it when I see it!
    1. k.nitsua's Avatar
      k.nitsua -
      Totally can see how this can be applied to gaming!!!! We can now have trigger buttons!

      Totally cool. Definitely would love to see this.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      I don't see this happening. Out this whole article i can only see the 5 megapixel camera into production of the 4G iPhone. Any details of what the processor and memory will be in the new iPhone???
    1. chris102192's Avatar
      chris102192 -
      what the hell is the point of a touch sensitive case when it has a touch screen??
    1. xGoOcHx's Avatar
      xGoOcHx -
      From the picture it seems as though you only touch the outside of the screen to access/activate what you want. Terrible idea IMHO.
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      I doubt it, The patent was filed in '06, pre-iPhone, I doubt it will come out now if it never did before.
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      well I'm going to hope for it. would totally improve games potential. like k.nitsua said. hopping for FASTFASTFAST processor for much more advanced games. (and less lagging for us jailbreakers)
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Believe when I see it
    1. Ichwohneinloche's Avatar
      Ichwohneinloche -
      ********, not gonna happen..
    1. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      I swear there's soon gonna be a "fingering" app

      This idea seems ***, what is the point of touch screen on the sides an back, aren't cases suppose to cover those? If they do sell a touch sensitive case it'll probably have us shell out $100+ which would probably be the price of the phone we would pay for...
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Nice, I hope this is not only a rumor.
    1. jaredb03's Avatar
      jaredb03 -
      Either the 4g phone is going to be huge or those are the smallest fingers i have ever seen.
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Sometimes, your finger covers what you need to see to properly interact with the screen by touch. Also, inadvertant "taps" are a problem when scrolling through object-laden interfaces. I can see this being used to scroll in webpages without accidentally "clicking" and move pointers around, such as when controling a remote desktop or even when simply needing more precision than your fingertips covering the exact point of interaction. I'm already sufficiently annoyed by all the amature apps that can't even follow the platform's example of "pop-up" keys... like that free Sudoku app. It's always causing mis-entries and penalizing you for it! Fat chance getting me to buy your premium version with a poor demo like that! It's supposed to reflect the quality of the paid app, so i'll just assume that it does.
    1. GhStRdR2k's Avatar
      GhStRdR2k -
      Really? How hard is it to move your finger over an 1/8th of an inch and actually touch the screen?
    1. deucalion0's Avatar
      deucalion0 -
      This will be amazing for me and not amazing for those who cant use like an iphone, such as my girlfriend and my brother, they both hate how ist all touch screen how they open things an call people by mistake then they blame the phone. It's not them its the phone.
      OK then, whatever.
      I can only imagine them and people who lack the ability to control touch screen devices get used to a touch case as well as touch screem, thats if theres actually truth to this rumour which I hope there is, for a few reasons, one being its cool as, and the other is the frustrating look on my brothers face!
    1. iGarza's Avatar
      iGarza -
      seems like too many buttons.

      they need to work on the components that drop calls
      according to Gizmodo its not AT&T its the circuits of the phone itself
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      I think most of you are missing the point. Think about all those phones out there with rocker-switches on the side and iPod-competitor MP3 players with touch sliders. Not only is this a million times more intuitive, it doesn't block the screen or require space on the front of the device (effective shrinking the screen).

      An eBook, for example, is a hell of a lot easier to read when you can slowly slide your finger along the side to read and scroll at the same time. Panning around on zoomed-in images and text will work much better too. These applications are in addition to the "precision pointer" and such that I mentioned earlier. The ease of reading is a big reason why someone may pick, say, an Amazon Kindle or a Nook over an iPod Touch or iPhone and this goes a long way toward fixing that.

      I miss not having Page Up, Page Down, Home and End when browsing on my phone. Having a shortcut to the top when I'm trying to reach the bottom of a huge page really stings. Being able to, say, double-tap on the bottom to jump down a page and triple-tap to jump to the end could really simplify things. I absolutely HATE it when I spend a ton of time scrolling repeatedly to reach the bottom and then it inadvertently activates the "jump to top" shortcut and puts me back where I started. Raise your hand if you've had it happen repeatedly and then jump to another page when you didn't want it to. *raises hand*