iPhone 15 Pro solid-state buttons predicted for volume and power

Apple could be planning to replace the clickable volume and power buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max next year with solid-state buttons. 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

There predicts this change will happen on the high-end iPhone models released in the second half of next year.

“My latest survey indicates that the volume button and power button of two high-end iPhone 15/2H23 new iPhone models may 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,” Kuo predicts.

That means this is one change we could see on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max… or Ultra? Either way, the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will stick to clicky buttons. This could be marketed as added durability for the higher-end iPhones. Let’s call that another point for the “Ultra” marketing possibility.

Three Taptic Engines

Like with the Home button, Kuo says Apple will rely on Taptic Engine vibration motors to simulate the feeling of a click.

“Like with the Home button, Kuo says Apple will rely on Taptic Engine vibration motors to simulate the feeling of a click,” Kuo writes. “Due to this design change, the number of Taptic Engines used in each iPhone will increase 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 significant beneficiaries.”

iPhone 15 is also expected to be the first series to drop Lightning in favor of USB-C. We’re only a month out from the iPhone 14 launch, and we’re already getting a clearer picture of what to expect eleven months from now.

9to5Mac’s Take

What may be most interesting about iPhone 15 Pro going solid-state is that it could happen before the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Ultra sort of shows that you don’t exactly need solid-state buttons to have extreme durability though. On the other hand, I’ve definitely gunked up the volume and power buttons on recent iPhones from exposure to the elements and my five year old.

What do you think about solid-state volume and power buttons coming to the iPhone 15 Pro? Fewer parts to fail or more complexity with additional Taptic Engines? Let us know what you think.

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