Phones

Samsung Galaxy S7 rumored to get iPhone-like 'force touch' display, too

Apple's two new iPhones won't hold their monopoly on the new '3D Touch' screen for long. Early rumors suggest Samsung is working on something similar for its next flagship phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge features a wraparound display. Sarah Tew/CNET

It may be six months before we see the Samsung Galaxy S7, but rumors are already appearing that it'll have a screen similar to those in Apple's new iPhones.

According to an I Ice Universe account on Weibo, a popular Chinese social network, Samsung has tapped Synaptics to use its ClearForce technology to respond to various levels of screen pressure, similar to the 3D Touch on Apple's recently launched iPhone 6S . Like 3D Touch, the future S7 would provide contextual menu options in response to light and heavy screen presses.

Apple may be the first smartphone-maker to bring pressure-sensitive screens to the public, but it wasn't the first to announce the feature. The Huawei Mate S , announced in early September but not yet on sale, can also discern touch pressure. It's evident that touch sensitivity will be one of the new smartphone features to define the space in the coming year.

Samsung itself has been quick to follow -- and also to establish -- trends. Recent years have given way to features such as heart-rate sensors and fingerprint readers. The once-novel curved edge display introduced in the Galaxy Note Edge made two appearances in 2015 models: the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 Edge+ . We should expect Samsung to embrace the pressure-sensitive display.

Other Samsung chatter out of Vietnam indicates that the hardware-maker may offer only one future Galaxy flagship phone with a curved display. Allegedly, the S7 would come in 5.2-inch and 5.8-inch models; the larger version would likely get the curved "Edge" treatment.

Samsung did not immediately reply to a request for comment.