Skip to main content

Samsung rumored to bring ‘3D Touch’ pressure-sensitive features to its next Galaxy phones

3D Touch iPhone 6s Plus

Samsung is already eying the iPhone 6s’s most significant new feature, 3D Touch, for its next-generation Galaxy phones. A report on Weibo suggests that the Korean company will be adding pressure-sensitive screens next year following Apple’s lead.

Samsung will apparently be using screen technology from Synaptic, called ClearForce, which we reported on last week. Although right now pressure-sensitive screens are effectively exclusive to iPhone, the availability of Synaptic hardware to OEMs is seemingly allowing Samsung (as well as other manufacturers, not yet disclosed) to jump on board in the near future.


The Huawei Mate S has already been announced with a pressure sensitive display, likely with Synaptic hardware backing it. Samsung phones already include some smart contextual menus when they detect pressure from stylus input but obviously it’s not the same as direct force manipulation with a finger on the screen.

Whilst this rumor is focused on the hardware specifics of detecting force, much of what makes up 3D Touch is actually software implementations. Things like Peek and Pop take advantage of the force data to show custom preview interfaces across iOS as well as show quick actions on the Home Screen. At the moment, it is unclear exactly how far Samsung will ‘be inspired’ by Apple’s ideas in that regard.

Samsung got its reputation as an Apple photocopier many years ago with earlier Galaxy models that resembled the Apple iPhone hardware and software designs. This resulted in a multi-year billion dollar lawsuit over intellectual property, the ramifications of which are still ongoing. Since then, Tim Cook has generally steered Apple away from court litigation, however, and Samsung has done a more respectable job at making unique products.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. Alex Moran - 7 years ago

    What ??? NO FREAKING WAY.

    Wow did NOT see that coming. That’s unprecedented.

    Where’s my sarcastic font ?

  2. PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

    Of course they are, was never any doubt about it. Problem is: it’ll stink so bad it’ll lead to an increase of broken screens. And that’s because they’ll never be able to copy it, just like TouchID. It’s going to be some ugly crapware layer, on top of Android. The problems here are insurmountable, Samsung has no idea what they’re dealing with.

  3. Neil Quinn (@neilq5) - 7 years ago

    I have no problem with Samsung doing this but I find it laughable all the Android fanboys who say Apple isn’t innovative and everything they do is copied. This is proof it works both ways

  4. FERNANDO! (@brutedawg) - 7 years ago


  5. tush4r - 7 years ago

    Much Apple, such Shamesung :v

  6. applewatch20152015 - 7 years ago

    Can’t wait to see this fail! I love 3D Touch, Peek and Pop on my 6S Plus!

    • Why would you want it to fail? More phones using 3d touch means more developers doing thoughtful implementations in their apps. It’ll only benefit you.

      • applewatch20152015 - 7 years ago

        I want it to fail on Android…it won’t fail on iOS. It’s already successful.

  7. Do you know guys how 9to5mac sometimes prepare their article few days before it is posted and then they just add information that were released that day and publish it (not blaming, this is how it’s done, great work).Well. The job is very easy when they publish Samsung new. Just write it when Apple releases a new feature and post it a few months later for Samsung.

  8. Why am I not surprised?

  9. I see a lot of people slamming Samsung and people calling Apple innovative. Does no one realize 3D touch has been a core feature of Android for years? It’s called long press, and it behaves the exact same way. The only difference is that apple switched how the press is detected using pressure instead of time on the screen. This does not change the outcome of the click at all. It was simply an improvement on a feature that long existed on Android before Apple released it. I am an iPhone owner, but have owned multiple Android phones over the years so don’t think this is just a flame comment.

    People need to stop going up in arms with all of this stuff. This is how technology works. Everyone copies from each other and we all benefit from it.

    • Alex Moran - 7 years ago

      Why don’t you shut the fuck up and get the fuck out

      • JBDragon - 7 years ago

        Just that you think 3D touch is just a Long press means you’re 100% clueless!!! The iPhone has had Long Press since the beginning. That are completely different things.

        Samsung of course will copy this feature on the iPhone like they Copy Apple every year. The only thing is, for Samsung it’ll be a GIMMICK!!! Why? Because it’ll only be a part of Samsung’s TouchWiz, not a real part of Google Android!!! That means really limited to mostly Samsung’s App’s, and missing out on all the 3rd party support it mostly won’t have. Not until it’s a real part of Android it’s self and more company’s also support it to make it worth wild. 3D Touch is now a standard feature and built into iOS. So it’ll be supported in 3rd party Apps, and of course that’s already starting to happen now.

        Long Press=3D Touch? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH What a fool!!!!

      • dk (@dkyk0929) - 7 years ago

        im using iphone 6s… and I think 3d touch and long press does samething in most apps and home screen…. I can only think of few areas where you can ACTUALLY use 3D touch differently… like home button with out home button… or difference weapon in gaming, like… touch for railgun, 3d touch for rocket… you know since you can’t “long press” and wait for the rocket you know XD

    • Stephan (@Reiserechner) - 7 years ago

      Long press is completely different. iOS had a long press since the beginning, it was used to rearrange icons and delete apps. 3D Touch is used to speed up interaction with apps, that’s why the comparison to a long press (which slows down things) is not applicable. 3D Touch menu options include the most used functions of the respective Apps, not context menu options.

      The fact that you equate 3D Touch with long press shows that you either (a) have never used 3D Touch on the new iPhone or (b) have used it, but prefer to obfuscate the difference in order to make your preferred platform look better.

    • Farhan Ajaz - 7 years ago

      IOS had long press before android (touch and hold any app icon and the apps start to shake so you can move them around and delete them). So IOS has long press as well as 3d touch.

    • You have to ignore a lot to equalize a long press to 3d touch.

    • samuelsnay - 7 years ago

      Lmao you think long press is the same as 3D Touch. That’s adorable.

    • Long press is not equal to 3D Touch at all. Sorry, bub. Apple has had long press since iOS 2.0 in 2009. 3D Touch can register multiple levels of Z-index pressure. You can access push/pop instantly without waiting and holding down. Android is still behind, and now behind even further. But anything you can do to convince yourself otherwise to cope is just fine.

    • dcperin - 7 years ago

      Lmao, WHAT? You do realize long-pressure been a part of iPhone since the beginning right? Long press was how you rearranged your apps on the home screen. It’s how you clicked on a link to open it in a new tab…
      Secondly, Long press is NOT the same as 3D Touch.. Once you physically touch a iP6s, you’ll understand… If it was the same, Samsung wouldn’t be rushing to put it in their phones.

      Fail of a comment, buddy.

      • dcperin - 7 years ago

        Long-press* not long-pressure

    • nekomichikun - 7 years ago

      I used to think that long press and pressure press would be identical. But trying out 3D Touch, I can confidently say that they are completely different.

      Pressure detection gives the user a much more fine-grained control over the content. You can push gently, slide, or dig in with more pressure to open different options. You can even back out of the action by releasing the finger. Imagine trying to long press for precisely 0.5 seconds for one option without going over to 0.6 seconds for a different option and not having any way to back out in case you accidentally pressed and held down. That’s kind of what the difference is like. Long press is one-dimensional and more difficult to control while 3D Touch works in multiple dimensions and much more intuitive.

      I don’t say this out of Apple allegiance or anything, it’s just from personal experience.

  10. t3d (@robotstorm) - 7 years ago

    Wouldn’t Apple have patented many of the ideas, like peek n’ pop?

    • incredibilistic - 7 years ago

      I can’t imagine they didn’t but there’s a chance the USPTO hasn’t awarded Apple the patent yet.

      But here’s the bigger issue: if this feature is only available on Samsung phones then don’t expect a huge amount of support from 3rd-party developers. Similar to the S-Pen, other than Samsung’s native apps 3rd-party apps with S-Pen support are far and few between.

  11. lorenzoviolone - 7 years ago

    What a surprise …

  12. srgmac - 7 years ago

    Derp derp derp THEY’RE COPYING APPLE! Derp derp!! Wait, who was the one that came out with a phablet first?
    How many years before Apple finally released a “plus” sized device?

    • Apple Newton. Look it up. 5.9″ diagonal screen with a stylus! 1997.

      • bhayes444 - 7 years ago

        Technically the Newton is not a phablet because it has no phone functionality. It was a large screened PDA however, so I feel your comparison is just.

      • srgmac - 7 years ago

        And we all know how successful the Newton was! When it came time to actually bring a product like that to the market with iOS on it, Apple waited *years* while others readily had phablets available left and right; they said the form factors were not what their customers wanted. How many of you have the plus sized iPhones? Thank Samsung for it. The 6Plus/6SPlus would not even exist if it was not for Samsung / android OEMs. Apple would have never, ever, put out a device like the 6Plus if Samsung hadn’t have showed the world that a lot of mobile customers actually wanted a larger form factor first.

      • dcperin - 7 years ago

        @srgmac: You’re absolutely correct, Samsung’s Note had a direct result on Apple releasing the 6 Plus. But you’re also overstating the importance of phablets. Most of the market isn’t looking for a phone that big. The 6 Plus was nice and all but what HAD TO HAPPEN was moving from a 4 inch screen to 4.7… Not to mention, Samsung fans can brag about Apple going big bc of them all they want but Samsung fans wouldn’t have their phones at ALL if it wasn’t for Apple. Apple completely changed the mobile game with the original iPhone. Reality though is that they both steal from each other.

  13. patthecarnut - 7 years ago

    Well OF COURSE IT IS! That was a foregone conclusion. When Apple innovates, Samsung “innovates”.

  14. Least surprising thing I read all day. xD

  15. Is Samsung won and put Apple out of business, where would their ideas come from? If people like features such as Samsung Pay or S-touch why don’t they get an iPhone?!

  16. moofer1972 - 7 years ago

    Huh. Very creative. I can’t wait to watch the lines queue-up around the block.

  17. Joe Belkin - 7 years ago

    Of course, it doesn’t matter because it’s overlaid over Android and not an official part, it’ll be laggy or work in a few apps and not others so it’ll actually be more annoying than not even having it.

  18. dwsolberg - 7 years ago

    I think this is a good feature, and I’m glad Samsung is adding it. 3D touch make things much more pleasant to use, and it’s very natural. Touch screens have limited interaction possibilities, and 3D touch opens up a whole new set. The issue that Samsung will have is that it’s not built into Android, so having it implemented systemwide will be more difficult. I would guess that Google will eventually add it, but all that takes time, so Apple does have a nice head start.


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.