iPhone 15 Pro to Retain Two-Button Volume Controls, Says Leaker

Apple Still to Replace Mute Switch With a Button
iPhone 14 Pro Concept Credit: @LD_Vova / Twitter
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Leaker Unknownz21 says Apple has made a last-minute decision about the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro volume buttons, dropping its plans to replace the traditional pair of volume buttons with a unified solid-state button.

Instead, Unknownz21 says Apple will stick with the two-button mechanical buttons for at least one more model year on the higher-end iPhone 15 models. The volume buttons on the new Pro models will resemble the buttons used on the current iPhone 14 Pro models.

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iP15 Pro Upper Perspective ZOOM
Unknownz21 x MacRumors

Despite its decision to make no change in the iPhone 15 Pro volume buttons, it is still expected to replace the devices’ traditional mute switch with a physical button, known internally as the “action button” or “ringer button.” It’s possible that the button could be customizable, similar to the Apple Watch Ultra’s Action button.

Until this week, we expected to see Apple use a unified solid-state design for the Pro’s volume buttons. However, Ming-Chi Kuo earlier this week said Apple will drop. its plans for the unified button, due to what Kuo called “unresolved technical issues.”

Kuo had predicted back in October that the volume and power buttons on 2023’s two high-end iPhone models would indeed be of a solid-state design, Much like the ?iPhone? 7’s home button, replacing the current mechanical button design used on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Ku said the new solid-state buttons would likely use technology similar to Apple’s Magic Trackpad for the Mac, which mimics the physical feedback of a traditional trackpad being pressed via small vibrations.

In addition to Kuo, tech analysts Jeff Pu and Shelly Chou at Hong Kong investment firm Haitong International Securities have said the new high-end iPhones will continue to use physical buttons.

“Based on our supply chain checks, we now expect iPhone 15 Pro series to move back to the current design of a physical button due to a more complex design,” said Pu and Chou, in a research note. Both analysts believe the new solid-state buttons will not debut until the iPhone 16 series makes its appearance in 2024.

While Apple did reportedly fabricate iPhone 15 Pro handsets with the expected unified solid-state buttons and button design, at least one publication has said those are being used for internal testing to ensure the feature is ready to go for the 2024 iPhone 16 Pro lineup.

It is a bit unusual for Apple to pull the plug on expected features this close to a device’s release, it has happened in the past. We saw it happen a few years back when Apple canceled the AirPower charging mat after it had already been previewed at a media event, due to the quality issues Apple had in making the charging mat work properly.

The AirPower had been designed to simultaneously charge multiple devices, such as an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. Apple had unveiled the AirPower in a 2017 announcement. Unfortunately,  numerous rumors of technical difficulties arose – rumors indicated the Cupertino firms had issues with heat management, interference, and inter-device communication – leading to Apple’s cancellation of the product.

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