Apple Inc. has been beaten by Huawei, not in the phone sales, but in introducing the ‘Force Touch’ feature, which is expected to be the most prominent feature in the upcoming iPhone. The Chinese firm has now introduced the feature in its smartphone, before Apple, who is expected to unveil the next-gen iPhone this month at a grand event.
Competing with Apple
Huawei’s Mate S, which will be up for pre-order from September 15, will be the first pressure-sensitive display in a mainstream phone. Apple first introduced the feature in the Watch, which was unveiled in September 2014, but went on sale in April this year. The firm then used the feature in MacBooks.
Huawei Mate S, a phablet, and Huawei Watch are the two new products unveiled at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin. Both these devices have been firmly positioned as luxury devices. The firm has an old practice of competing with rivals by offering similar features at much lower prices, but this practice has been done away with the release of the two new devices.
While unveiling the devices, they were compared with those of Apple’s. The firm said the Mate S has a small curved design, and does not have any visible antenna lines like Apple’s iPhone. It pointed to the thin build and the 13 MP rear camera of the Huawei Mate S device. The updated version of Huawei’s “knuckle touch control” provides support to the camera, and it help users to initiate certain software features. For example, if a user draws ‘C’ on the screen then the camera will pop up.
With the Huawei Watch, the Chinese firm seeks to compete with Apple Watch. The watch has been priced at the same mid-level price bracket as most of the wearables from Apple, and won’t be competing on price like other Huawei products.
BlackBerry used Force Touch long before Apple
Its not just Huawei that has beaten Apple Inc with Force Touch. BlackBerry used this feature much before than anyone else. The Canadian firm patented and used a technology similar to “Force-touch” back in 2008, when it introduced the Storm device. BlackBerry was known as Research In Motion then, and Storm was the first touch-screen device without a physical keyboard.
BlackBerry was the pioneer in using the combination of fully-integrated touch screen mobile phones with haptic feedback, says a patent expert from Envision IP, Alex Lee. Apple Inc iPhone, the Palm Tree and the HTC Corp G1 were the devices competing with Blackberry’s Storm at that time, but none had the tactile feedback feature.