One of the biggest changes coming to the iPhone 15s may be the configuration of the physical buttons – and new leaks suggest that Apple intends to move to a unified volume button and a new type of mute button, at least on the Pro models.
It comes from both Technology Zone (opens in a new tab) (By MacRumors (opens in a new tab)) i 9to5Mac (opens in a new tab), so it seems to be a rumor with some momentum. The idea is also supported by unofficial renders we’ve seen over the past few weeks.
Ahead of these latest revelations, we’ve heard multiple reports that some iPhone 15 models will eliminate physical buttons in favor of solid-state ones that use haptic feedback to register a press instead of an actual mechanism. Now it seems more likely that it will.
Almost 100% certainty that the iPhone 15 Pro will be a LONG unified volume button, not 2 separate ones. While developing our iPhone 15 Pro Concept, we discovered that Apple uses 2 pins on each of the 2 volume buttons. iPhone 15 Pro CAD shows only 2 pins on the longer 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 when looking at the screen. Just above them is a slider that mutes and unmutes the device depending on its position.
According to these new rumors, in addition to switching to solid state, the volume buttons will become one button. Also, the mute button will also go solid state and needs to be pressed to switch between modes, not to slide.
If Apple sticks to its usual schedule, we’ll see these new phones – possibly including the iPhone 15 Ultra – at some point in September 2023. Expect many more leaks and rumors from time to time.
Analysis: Pro models lead again
There’s a running theme in the iPhone 15 rumors we’ve seen so far, including this one: it seems to be the Pro models that are getting the most attention from Apple, which is indeed due to what we’ve seen with the iPhone 14 series.
Many of the changes allegedly coming to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max – including solid-state buttons, a special color edition, support for the latest Wi-Fi standards, and a Thunderbolt data connection – may not make it to the regular iPhone 15.
In fact, it is said that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be so improved that it will have a new name: iPhone 15 Ultra. It looks like Apple is looking to create another sub-group within the existing dual-tier iPhone lineup.
This seems to be a strategy that seems to be working for Apple, pushing people towards more expensive phones where they can make the most money. However, we are left wondering what exactly the point of cheaper iPhones is at this stage.