Apple Leaks Almost Confirm iPhone 15 Without Physical Buttons

Apple Leaks Almost Confirm iPhone 15 Without Physical Buttons

Published: November 28, 2022

Another day, another rumor about the upcoming iPhone 15 device. Only this time, the latest Apple leak seems to suggest that all the previous rumors about the iPhone 15 having no physical buttons are true.

It’s certainly an innovative and a much-touted concept, but how realistic is it for the next-gen iPhone to arrive without any physical buttons whatsoever?

Cirrus Logic, an Apple supplier, mentioned HPMS (high-performance mixed-signal) components in a letter to shareholders this month.

“Finally, we continue to engage with a strategic customer and expect to bring a new HPMS component to market in smartphones next year,” the company stated in the letter.

There’s no mention of Apple anywhere in that statement, but according to Forbes, “HPMS is a Cirrus Logic product which included haptic drivers for the iPhone’s Taptic Engine.”

While there’s very little in the way of details in the most recent Apple leaks, it’s already the second time taptic (Apple’s word for haptic) engine units and haptic drivers were mentioned. It doesn’t mean that iPhone 15 buttons will definitely switch to solid-state versions, but there’s a pattern that’s slowly forming.

New Cirrus Logic haptic engine capabilities would be perfect for solid-state buttons, so there might be some merit to these rumors after all.

In practice, taptic engine units would replace the current volume and power buttons, resulting in solid-state units that provide mechanical feedback as if they were regular buttons. The haptic feedback tricks the user into thinking they’re pushing a physical button when they’re not.

“That’s like the Touch ID button on previous iPhones, or the trackpad on Mac laptops,” Forbes stated in a blog post.

Last month, Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known and respected analyst, shared his opinion regarding the future of the iPhone. One of the topics he touched upon was the introduction of taptic engine units in iPhone 15.

“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 said.

Among other rumors surrounding the upcoming iPhone 15 is the widening of the performance gap between entry-level and high-end models. Apparently, iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max (possibly Ultra) will feature better USB-C variants, while costing slightly more as well.

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