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Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently shared new information about the next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, stating that these models will no longer feature solid-state buttons due to unresolved technical issues before mass production.
This change comes as a reversal from Kuo’s earlier report back in October 2022, where he had stated that these models would be equipped with solid-state buttons, with two additional Taptic Engines providing haptic feedback to simulate the feeling of pressing the buttons, without them physically moving.
In a Medium post, Kuo noted that his latest survey indicated that both high-end iPhone 15 Pro models would abandon the closely-watched solid-state button design and revert to the traditional physical button design due to technical issues. While it’s unclear if the traditional design would mean there will be two volume buttons or a single, elongated volume button, Kuo believes that the change will have a limited impact on the mass production schedule and shipments for the Pro models.
The reversal of the solid-state button design has also been reported by tech analysts Jeff Pu and Shelly Chou at Hong Kong-based investment firm Haitong International Securities. They note that based on their supply chain checks, they now expect the iPhone 15 Pro series to move back to the current design of a physical button due to a more complex design. They believe that the solid-state button design has been delayed until the iPhone 16 series in 2024.
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This change is “unfavorable” for Cirrus Logic and AAC Technologies, two key suppliers of Taptic Engine-related components for iPhones, according to Kuo. However, Kuo believes that there is still time for Apple to modify the iPhone 15 Pro’s design, given that the device remains in the EVT development stage.