Apple Files for Haptic Feedback Patent; Android World Cries Out a Collective, "Huh?"


Editor in Chief
Staff member
Jan 5, 2011

To paraphrase the old saying about a duck, "If it looks like a troll and walks like a troll, it must be Apple." We have a new report that Apple has just filed for a new patent on haptic feedback. This comes as a real shock since for the last several years, haptic feedback has been one of the primary differentiators of Android, Nokia and even RIM devices from the iPhone. Companies like Samsung, Nokia, RIM and HTC have provided this functionality for some time, but Apple always used marketing double-speak to denounce the feature as something beneath them. According to Apple, their virtual QWERTY keyboard has been the best on the market, and there was no need for haptic feedback. Apparently, they have had a complete turn-around of perspective...

Not only does their patent application include the necessary descriptions of piezoelectric actuators placed under the display, they also will be able to measure how hard your touch is, and even provide a description of the complete means by which their technology can be manufactured, as well as how to mass produce them. They are really covering their bases on this one. Now, it's important to note that we can't automatically assume that Apple is intending to use this patent against the competition. It is possible that this patent is different enough from other manufacturers' designs to potentially just be Apple protecting its own ideas, but it is a very thin line the tech is walking. And, based upon past history, it seems like a distinct possibility that they could use this as ammunition in the future.

Lastly, even if they don't use this new patent to go after the competition in the courts, the hypocrisy is almost comical. What do you want to bet that if they do include this feature on the iPhone 5 or iPhone 6, then at that time they will extoll the virtues of their wondrous new tech and claim that they brought it out first?

Source: UnWiredView


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2011
Wow, that seems written from a pretty anti-Apple point of view. Why shouldn't they be able to use haptic feedback if they choose? Sure it may be against what they are saying now and it may be deemed magical when they release it but the brief patent description seems to be more than merely vibrating the device when the screen is touched (fairly useless in my opinion but this will differ among users).

This seems to be a system to allow local feed back to where you are touching which many companies are working on since it is more useful than the entire device vibrating. On top of that measuring how hard you are pressing could be extremely useful. Nobody is currently offering either of these things and plenty are working on it. If Apple has the whole production and everything else already figured out, then yeah they will be able to claim they brought it out first and in significantly better form than currently exists in "haptic feedback."


Jan 24, 2012
the unwired went pretty anti-apple on that one :) hopefully this doesnt turn into another patent war