The iPhone 15 is scheduled to launch, based on the calendar of previous years, in September this year, and as usual, details and designs about the company’s next flagship device are leaking out.
From the addition of an improved camera to the removal of the Lightning port in favor of USB-C to new colors, rumors about the iPhone 15 have been circulating for months. One of the latest rumors is that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will have unified volume and mute buttons, according to leaked CAD images. Something we now have a lot more details on.
A renovation that will leave behind a 16-year old button
It is common for us to see leaks of the iPhone chassis. It’s a key piece that usually ends up on the web before launch, but it doesn’t always give us all the information we’d like to have. Why? Because it’s missing the buttons. Yes we can see the indentations intended for them, but little else.
Just because of those indentations we know that Apple, always according to rumors, will merge the volume up and volume down button into one. Now, a CAD leaked in a video from the Chinese version of TikTok and shared on Twitter by ShrimpApplePro, suggests more important changes to the buttons on the new iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models.
As we already suspected, instead of separate buttons to adjust the volume, the new models will have an elongated button that will allow volume control from a single place. But going further, we now expect that the mute switch, which has been present since the first iPhone in 2007, will become a button – not a switch – that will allow us to turn the phone’s sound on or off.
Both the volume and mute buttons will have a solid-state design. With technology very similar to that which allows us to click the trackpad on our MacBooks, these buttons, instead of physically moving, will provide haptic feedback through two new additional Taptic Engines inside the iPhone.
Thanks to this micro vibration, the same that we notice when turning the digital crown of the Apple Watch, the sensation of movement will be simulated. The same thing that already happens on the home button of the latest iPhone SE. We understand, although we are already entering the realm of assumptions, that in addition to the Taptic Engine at the bottom of the phone, the new iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max will place two units – probably much smaller – on the right and left edge of the phone, just where the new buttons will be located.
For their part, the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models will continue to have two physical volume buttons and a mute switch, as shown in other CAD images in the video. Something that has already supported several leaks regarding these new models.
A design with several advantages and a question mark
The idea behind solid-state buttons is twofold. On the one hand, we are dealing with elements that, lacking moving parts, cannot be damaged by use. On the other hand, we substantially improve the watertightness of the phone, since no openings are needed through which the pole or water can enter.
This technology, however, also raises some questions. In the case of the Mac trackpad, it only responds with the corresponding feedback when we press it with our finger. Pressing it with an object, for example, is not interpreted as a keystroke. Here the question of how the cases will adapt to these new buttons comes into play.
While we think that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will set a new world record, we will still have to wait until September to see what final innovations Apple presents in its new iPhone series, it is clear that the proposal we have on the table is interesting. Apple has already tested this haptic feedback with static buttons on other devices and can now apply everything learned on the iPhone.