Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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Rumor: Apple reportedly going with “Buttonless design” for its future upcoming iPhone Models

Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst, was the first to report that the volume and power buttons on this year’s two high-end iPhone models will use a solid-state design, similar to the iPhone 7’s home button, rather than a mechanical button design that physically depresses. Apple employs a similar technique for its Mac trackpads, which do not physically move but instead simulate the sensation of being pressed with small vibrations.

According to reports, the new iPhones will include additional Taptic Engines on the internal left and right sides to provide physical feedback to users, making it appear as if they are pressing real buttons. The number of Taptic Engines in each iPhone will increase from one to three as a result of the change.

Barclays later appeared to confirm Kuo’s report, claiming that Apple supplier Cirrus Logic may have hinted at iPhone 15 Pro models receiving haptic buttons in 2023 – something Kuo later noted with specific mention of Cirrus Logic benefiting from Apple orders to bring the feature about this year.

Analyst Jeff Pu has also stated that the iPhone 15 Pro models will have solid-state volume and power buttons with haptic feedback thanks to two additional Taptic Engines, indicating that there appears to be a growing consensus among analysts on the change.

Apple was rumoured to be planning a switch to solid-state buttons for the Apple Watch several years ago, but the switch never happened.

credit: macrumors

Solid-state buttons were said to improve water resistance and take up less internal space at the time, but it is unclear if that will be the case for the iPhone because space for two more Taptic Engines will be required.

According to iPhone rumours from 2021, Apple may return to round volume buttons like the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, and 5S models, so such a change could finally happen this year alongside the switch to solid-state buttons. Round buttons would not only have a larger surface area for the touch contact required for haptic buttons, but they would also be noticeably different from any iPhone model released in recent years, indicating the presence of the new feature. The iPhone 15 Pro schematics that have leaked do not specify whether the device will have round or oblong volume buttons.

Because the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are expected to retain traditional clickable volume and power buttons, it appears likely that Apple will need to highlight some kind of significant improvement or new functionality to successfully upsell customers to the buttonless design.

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.


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