Once an overhyped feature, 3D Touch got lesser attention since its introduction in 2015 on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Rumors of its demise started last year.
Barclay's analyst, Blayne Curtis, reported in August 2018 that the 2019 iPhone models will lose 3D Touch support. The Wall Street Journal also mentioned in a report that the pressure sensitive component for 3D Touch could be removed across the iPhone lineup to cut costs.
The first credible evidence of that happening appeared in iOS 13 developer beta where no trace of 3D Touch gestures was found. 3D Touch features appear to be replaced by long-press gestures. 9to5Mac claims that Apple will introduce a new type of Taptic Engine to improve Haptic Touch and potentially replace 3D Touch.
Chinese sites news.mydrivers.com published a list of purported specs of the three iPhone models which indicate the absence of 3D Touch.
With the entire iPad lineup supporting Apple Pencil, it is not far-fetched to suggest that Apple could be doing the same for the iPhone this year.
In October 2017, The Investor claimed that Apple has been working on a new iPhone model which comes with a stylus and it could launch as early as 2019. In March 2018, reliable analyst Kuo shared his prediction that the iPhone would eventually support Apple Pencil.
TrendForce and Economic Daily News suggested in August 2018 that the 2018 iPhone lineup would have Apple Pencil support, but it turned out to be false. Nonetheless, the likelihood of this year's iPhones supporting Apple Pencil could not be ignored.
Citi Research claimed in a report last month that Apple Pencil is one of the new features coming to the iPhone this year. A purported specs list of the upcoming iPhones by Chinese site news.mydrivers.com also corroborated the report.
If Apple is going to bring Apple Pencil support to the iPhone, it would have to design a smaller Apple Pencil for use on the iPhone. This would be another opportunity for Apple to upsell an optional accessory to drive sales in a period of slow iPhone growth.