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Apple's plans to 'unbutton' the iPhone 15 Pro may have been derailed

Technical issues might force Apple to stick to physical buttons on the new iPhones.

Published onApril 12, 2023

iPhone 15 Pro buttons
  • Technical issues have reportedly derailed Apple’s plan to add solid-state buttons to the new Pro iPhones.
  • The iPhone 15 Pro and Pr Max models could end up getting the classic physical buttons.

Apple’s upcoming iPhones have leaked extensively, and the removal of the physical buttons from the Pro models was the most significant change expected this year. Multiple leaks and supporting renders have suggested that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max would include solid-state buttons with haptic feedback. However, Apple’s plans for replacing the mute and volume switches with the new buttons have been derailed.

Renowned Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo reports that unresolved technical issues before mass production have forced Apple to abandon the solid-state buttons on both Pro iPhone 15 models. These devices are now expected to stick to the physical button design that current iPhones sport.

There's still a chance that Apple could change the design of the new iPhones.

Kuo says the iPhone 15 Pro is currently in the EVT development (Engineering Validation Testing) phase. It is the earliest stage of product development before mass production can start. This stage is followed by Design Validation Testing, or DVT, where a fully designed product is tested to ensure all components work together correctly. So there’s still a chance that Apple could change the design of the new iPhones before they reach the DVT stage. But as of now, it’s looking increasingly like Apple will simplify the production process by sticking to the physical buttons.

Kuo is not the only analyst that believes Apple’s ditching the redesigned buttons. Haitong Tech analyst Jeff Pu (via 9to5Mac) has corroborated his report and said that the iPhone 15 Pro might not deliver solid-state controls.

It's not the end of the world.

Analysts now expect the haptic buttons to appear on the iPhone 16 series. We’ll have to wait and see what Apple eventually decides, but it’s not the end of the world for sure. The physical mute switch and volume keys work just fine on the current iPhones. Yes, we might have seen added functionality through the solid-state buttons, but as long as the present design works, prospective iPhone 15 buyers shouldn’t have any issues.

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