One of the biggest changes coming with the iPhone 15 handsets could be the configuration of the physical buttons – and new leaks suggest Apple will move to a unified volume rocker and new style of mute button, at least on the Pro models .
This comes from both ZoneOfTech (opens in new tab) (via MacRumors (opens in new tab)) and 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), so it seems to be a rumor with a certain dynamic behind it. The idea is also supported by the unofficial renders we’ve seen popping up in recent weeks.
Before these latest revelations, we’d heard numerous reports that certain iPhone 15 models would ditch physical buttons in favor of solid-state models that use haptic feedback to sense a press rather than an actual mechanism. It now seems more likely that this will be the case.
Almost 100% sure iPhone 15 Pro will have a LONG unified volume button, instead of 2 separate ones. While making our iPhone 15 Pro Concept, we discovered 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 rocker. 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 it is a slide switch that mutes and unmutes the device depending on which position it is in.
According to these new rumors, in addition to switching to solid state, the volume buttons will become a single button. In addition, the mute button also switches to solid state and has to be pressed to switch between modes instead of sliding.
If Apple sticks to its usual schedule, we’ll see these new phones – which may include the iPhone 15 Ultra – sometime in September 2023. Expect many more leaks and rumors between now and then.
Analysis: The Pro models are leading the way 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 indeed follows from what we saw of the iPhone 14- series .
Many of the changes supposedly 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 to the standard iPhone 15.
In fact, rumor has it that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be boosted to such an extent that it will be given a new name: the iPhone 15 Ultra. It seems that Apple wants to create another sub-tier within the existing two-tiered iPhone lineup.
It’s a strategy that seems to be working for Apple, pushing people towards the more expensive handsets where the most money can be made. However, it leaves us wondering just what the point of the cheaper iPhones is at this stage.