Apple plans to replace the clickable volume and power buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max with solid-state buttons next year. Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared this detail, comparing it to when the iPhone 7 replaced the clickable Home button with a solid-state Home button.
Solid State Buttons
Kuo predicts that this change will happen on the high-end iPhone models that will be released in the second half of next year.
“My latest research indicates that the volume rocker and power button of two high-end iPhone 15/2H23 new iPhone models can adopt a solid-state button design (similar to the home button design of iPhone 7/8/SE2 & 3) to replace the physical/mechanical button design,” predicts Kuo.
That means this is a change we could see on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max… or Ultra? Anyway, the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus stick to click buttons. This could be marketed as extra durability for the more expensive iPhones. Let’s call that another point for the “Ultra” marketing opportunity.
Three Taptic Engines
As with the Home button, Kuo says Apple will rely on Taptic Engine vibration motors to simulate the sensation of a click.
“As with the Home button, Kuo says Apple will rely on Taptic Engine vibration motors to simulate the sensation of a click,” Kuo writes. “This design change will increase the number of Taptic Engines used in each iPhone from the current one to three. As a result, the existing Taptic Engine suppliers, Luxshare ICT (1st supplier) and AAC Technologies (2nd supplier) will be key beneficiaries.”
iPhone 15 is also expected to be the first series to drop Lightning in favor of USB-C. We’re only a month away from the iPhone 14 launch, and we’re already getting a clearer picture of what to expect 11 months from now.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about iPhone 15 Pro going solid state is that it could happen before the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Ultra shows that you don’t really need solid-state buttons to have extreme durability. On the other hand, I’ve definitely broken the volume and power buttons on recent iPhones from exposure to the elements and my five-year-old.
What do you think of solid-state volume and power buttons coming to the iPhone 15 Pro? Fewer parts to break or more complexity with additional Taptic Engines? Let us know what you think.
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