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?