Physical buttons on the iPhone may be a thing of the past.
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro, which is likely to arrive in 2023, will have solid-state buttons instead of physical ones.
More precisely, both the power button on the right side and the volume buttons on the left side will become solid-state buttons, albeit, as Kuo claims, only on the two high-end iPhone 15 models.
While “solid-state” might sound arcane, most iPhone and Mac users are already familiar with the design; old iPhone 7 had a solid-state Home button, and newer MacBooks have a trackpad that doubles as a big solid-state button.
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Solid-state means there’s actually no moving parts in these buttons. They feel like pressable buttons thanks to the magic of Apple’s Taptic Engine, wherein a small motor produces vibrations to give the user back haptic feedback as they press the button. According to Kuo, this will mean that the new iPhones will get two additional Taptic Engines, one on the left and one on the right. Current iPhones have one Taptic Engine which provides feedback as you tap on the display.
There’s no word on whether these new buttons will look different from the current ones, though.
Kuo also says that “high-end Android smartphones” will also follow Apple’s design and adopt solid-state buttons.
Finally, Kuo stated(Opens in a new tab) that the switch to USB-C, and the new buttons, are “two of the major updates for iPhone 15.” Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Greg Joswiak, recently confirmed that the company will switch to USB-C on the iPhone in the future, though he wouldn’t provide the exact timing.
Other iPhone 15 rumors(Opens in a new tab) say that the Pro models will get a new chip, the A17 Bionic, an improved telephoto camera, and up to 8GB RAM memory. The iPhone 15 Pro likely isn’t due for another 10 months, so take any rumors and reports with a grain of salt.