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This Year's Cheap iPhone Could Drop a Key Feature

At least one of the new iPhones Apple has planned won't be offering a feature you might be using right now.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple has decided to ditch 3D Touch in the LCD version of its upcoming iPhones, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kyo wrote to investors this week, according to MacRumors. Apple has instead decided to move the touch module from the display to the glass surface. The move will create a lighter phone, according to the report, but will also mean Apple nixes 3D Touch.

According to Kuo, Apple believes that 3D Touch is a premium feature. And since the LCD-based iPhone will be the cheapest of the three smartphones it plans to release this year, 3D Touch won't find its way to that model.

Apple's 3D Touch was introduced in 2015 on the iPhone 6s. The feature allows you to vary the pressure with which you press down on the screen to open different menus. If you press harder on the screen, for instance, you might be able to open more apps, perform functions, and more. It's a handy way to access shortcuts from your iPhone.

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However, Apple is reportedly planning three new iPhones this year. One of those will reportedly be a small update over the iPhone X, featuring a 5.8-inch OLED screen. The other, a Plus model, would come with the same OLED but have a 6.5-inch display. The final option, the LCD version, will have a 6.1-inch screen and be designed for those who don't want to spend significant sums on a new handset, according to reports.

If the Kuo report is accurate, Apple seems firmly committed to making sure the LCD model is affordable. But the only way to do that is to strip away costly features. Ditching 3D Touch and OLED seems to be a good first step for Apple. It's unclear what other moves the company might make to further bring the price down.

That said, Apple has remained silent on its plans for the future. But the rumor mill continues to suggest three handsets are shipping, and as time goes on, we can expect many more rumors before Apple finally announces its new smartphones.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.