One of the biggest changes arriving on the iPhone 15 phones may be the physical button setup — and new leaks suggest that Apple will move to a unified volume button and a new type of mute button, at least on the Pro models.
This comes from both Zoonovtec (via MacRumors) and 9to5Mac, so it seems popular with some momentum behind it. The idea is also supported by the unofficial renders we’ve seen pop up over the past few weeks.
Prior to these latest revelations, we had heard many reports that some iPhone 15 models would ditch physical buttons in favor of hard buttons that use haptic feedback to register pressure rather than an actual mechanism. It now appears that this is likely to be the case.
Almost 100% sure the iPhone 15 Pro will be long for the unified volume button, instead of two separate buttons. While making the iPhone 15 Pro Concept, we found that Apple used pins on both volume buttons. iPhone 15 Pro CAD only shows two pins on a taller volume button. pic.twitter.com/KzkpS9fYBBMarch 2, 2023
On the current iPhone 14, there are two separate volume buttons — one for up and one for down — on the left side as you look at the screen. Directly above them is a slide switch that mutes and rewinds the device depending on the position in which it is located.
According to these new rumors, in addition to the switch to a solid state, the volume buttons will become a single button. Additionally, the mute button will also switch to a solid state and require a press to switch between modes, rather than a slide.
If Apple sticks to its regular schedule, we’ll see these new phones — including the iPhone 15 Ultra, likely — sometime during September 2023. Expect more leaks and rumors now and then.
Analysis: Pro models lead the way again
There’s a running theme in the iPhone 15 rumors we’ve seen so far, including this: the Pro models seem to be getting the most attention from Apple, which is already following what we’ve seen from the iPhone 14 series.
A lot of the changes that are supposed to come to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max — including solid-state buttons, special edition color, support for the latest Wi-Fi standards, and Thunderbolt data connectivity — may not make it to the iPhone 15 standard.
In fact, the word is that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be so awesome, it’ll get a new name: iPhone 15 Ultra. It looks like Apple wants to create another sub-category within its current two-tier iPhone range.
It’s a strategy that seems to be working in Apple’s favour, pushing people towards the pricier phones where the most money can be made. However, it leaves us wondering what exactly the point of cheaper iPhones is at this point.
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