Large volume and mini mute button: This is what the iPhone 15 Pro looks like
Apple is planning a major modification to the housing of the upcoming iPhone generation – at least on the top models iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. After CAD recordings had already leaked, new render images have now also appeared. These were made by the well-known leaker ShrimpApplePro Found on Chinese TikTok equivalent Douyin.
Like the trackpad on the MacBook
You can see how you can imagine the new buttons for volume and mute. Apple will rely entirely on so-called solid-state technology here, i.e. no longer on mechanical buttons. Instead, the contact pressure is recorded by sensors, and users receive feedback via the Taptic engine, i.e. the vibration motor integrated in the iPhone. The volume button is now just one long bar instead of two individual buttons. This is pressed either up or down. The mute button is no longer a slide switch, but a small button. Here, too, the status is recorded by sensors.
Internally, this is apparently implemented using a special firmware that is supposed to record the button operation even if the operating system no longer responds – this is important because the buttons are also used for different switching states when switching the iPhone on and off or resetting it. Apple’s solid-state technology is nothing new, however. For example, MacBook trackpads have been controlled this way for years: when you press down to click, the feedback doesn’t come from the trackpad itself, but from the Taptic engine. This has the advantage that the click area is the entire surface – not just the lower sector of the trackpad.
Function only on more expensive iPhones
The new solid-state feature seems to be intended by Apple only for the Pro models – i.e. iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. According to previous rumors, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus should retain the typical switch layout. Apple can do several things better about the device with the solid-state design. So it should help to reduce the display edge (bezel), which is said to be the thinnest of all smartphones to date. Second, devices without moving buttons can be sealed better. The on/off button (sleep/wake) should also no longer be mechanical, even if no renders have been seen for this so far.
On the iPhone, the home button is already executed without mechanics in newer devices; the Taptic engine also “confirms” the pressing here. In practice, the technology is very reliable. However, the security aspect is problematic. Without mechanics, the user can no longer be sure that the button was actually pressed. Even now, it’s hard to tell if an iPhone has actually been turned off.