One of the biggest changes coming to the iPhone 15 phones could be the setup of the physical buttons – and new leaks suggest Apple will move to a unified volume button and a new breed of mute button on the Pro models at least.
It comes from both ZoneOfTech (opens in new tab) (via MacRumors (opens in new tab)) and 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), so it appears to be a rumor with some momentum behind it. The idea is also supported by the unofficial renders we’ve seen over the past few weeks.
Prior to these recent revelations, we had heard numerous reports that certain iPhone 15 models would be doing away with physical buttons in favor of solid-state buttons that use haptic feedback to register a press rather than an actual mechanism. It now seems more likely that this will be the case.
Almost 100% sure iPhone 15 Pro has LONG Unified Volume buttons instead of 2 separate ones. When designing our iPhone 15 Pro concept, we found that Apple uses 2 pins on each of the 2 volume buttons. The iPhone 15 Pro CAD only shows 2 pins on a longer volume button. pic.twitter.com/KzkpS9fYBBMarch 2, 2023
On the current iPhone 14, there are two separate volume buttons – one for volume up and one for volume down – on the left side when looking at the screen. Just above it is a slide switch that mutes and unmutes the device depending on your position.
According to these new rumors, the volume buttons will not only be changed to solid-state, but also a single button. Additionally, the mute button also switches to solid state, requiring a press to switch modes rather than a slider.
If Apple sticks to its usual schedule, we’ll see these new phones – possibly including the iPhone 15 Ultra – sometime in September 2023. Until then, expect plenty more leaks and rumors.
Analysis: The Pro models in front 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 get the most attention from Apple, which actually ties into what we’ve heard from the iPhone 14 series have seen .
Many of the changes rumored to be coming to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max — including solid-state buttons, a special edition color, support for the latest Wi-Fi standards, and a Thunderbolt data connection — may not make it until to the normal iPhone 15.
In fact, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is to be pimped so that it will get a new name: iPhone 15 Ultra. It seems that Apple wants to create another sub-tier within the existing two-tiered iPhone range.
It’s a strategy that seems to be working for Apple, pushing people toward the more expensive phones that can make the most money. However, we do wonder what exactly the point of the cheaper iPhones is at this point.