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Analyst expects iPhone with Palm-like touch casing

updated 07:25 am EST, Thu January 14, 2010

Goldman sees iPhone with 5MP cam in June

Goldman Sachs analyst Robert Chen in a comment Thursday claimed to know that Apple will build an unusual touch-sensitive casing for the next iPhone. Without naming his sources, the researcher says the iPhone will use a plastic shell similar to that of the Magic Mouse, which supports touch functions despite its curved surface. More conventionally, Chen echoes leaks of a 5-megapixel camera making its way into the device.

Frequently expected plans are also mentioned and include mass production starting in April, with a release in June or July, as well as a new revision of the iPhone's firmware.

What the touch casing would be used for isn't evident. The current iPhone OS interface doesn't require touch elements beyond the screen, and the single home button doesn't necessarily need a touch-sensitive input. Adding the new features could bring a control scheme similar to the Palm Pre and Pixi, where off-screen touch is used for functions like opening the launcher or going back one level in a given app.

By Electronista Staff


  1. JulesLt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2005


    In your hand

    An obvious thing that struck me is having a sensor on the back of the phone that detects if it is being held (as opposed to in a case/bag/etc) - and if so, automatically turn the screen on, in the same way it switches off when held to an ear - you're fairly unlikely to be holding the phone to face you, and not want to actually see it. While this would only save a couple of clicks, it would increase the 'magic' appeal.

  1. facebook_Tyler

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Makes no sense

    Why would Apple do that? Most people put their phone in a case, thereby rendering that function totally useless. I think Robert Chen needs to rethink his predictions.

  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000


    Re: In your hand

    Blackberries do something similar. You can have different alerts depending on whether it's in its holster or not.

  1. snork

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008


    I don't think so

    I'm calling some BS on this one too. First of all the Magic Mouse is GLASS topped, not plastic. It needs to be glass to (properly) do capacitive touch and I don't think Apple is going to glass encase their iPhones for durability reasons.

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