We have been hearing reports that Apple’s next iPhone 15 lineup will be introducing a couple of notable design changes, including the possible implementation of solid-state buttons, for quite some time now. Now, prominent Apple analyst and industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo has confirmed that 2023 could spell the beginning of the end of physical buttons on the iPhone.
In a series of tweets, Kuo has put forward information indicating that the high-end iPhone 15 models will feature solid-state buttons, equipped with Taptic engines to stimulate the feel of physical buttons. Kuo has also singled out the company that will likely play a major part in the iPhone’s transition to non-physical buttons.
It should be noted that Apple has already done something similar with the Home button on past iPhones and the trackpad on the MacBook lineup. For reference, the latter does not physically respond to pressure, but rather emulates the sense of touch through vibrations.
Based on the information thus far, the transition will initially be limited to Apple’s “Pro” iPhones – the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which could end up being dubbed the iPhone 15 Ultra. Both the power and volume buttons will be affected by the change. The Ring/Silent switch is expected to remain.
According to Kuo, If the transition ends up being a success, it is very likely that Apple will be introducing solid-state buttons to other premium devices in its portfolio, like the iPad Pro and the Apple Watch Ultra.
We currently do not know what Apple’s end goal with this transition is. The most immediate benefit is an extra layer of durability, but there could be more to it. We will just have to wait.