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Apple could ditch physical buttons on the iPhone 16

By Shawn Tan - on 23 Apr 2024, 8:45am

Apple could ditch physical buttons on the iPhone 16

Purported CAD of the Apple iPhone 16 Pro(Image source: 91mobiles)

Apple could be achieving its ultimate dream of a "buttonless" iPhone design this year. 

Economic Daily News claims that Apple placed an order with Advanced Semiconductor Engineering for a new capacitive button system which could ship with the iPhone 16 this year.

The new capacitive button system is said to have a system-in-a-package module and two Taptic Engine components to provide haptic feedback when pressing the new buttons.

Rumours of a "buttonless design" for the iPhone surfaced in late 2022 when analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the volume and power buttons would adopt a solid-state design

Speculations rose after Apple supplier Cirrus Logic shared in a newsletter to investors that the company was engaging "a strategic customer" to "bring a new high-performance mixed-signal chip component to market in smartphones next year (2023)". 

Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu and MacRumors corroborated these claims by stating that the iPhone 15 Pro would have solid-state buttons and that a new low-energy chip would power these new buttons.

MacRumors even followed up with another report stating that there would be a new toggle in Settings to allow users to customise the sensitivity of the capacitive buttons for different usage scenarios (e.g. with gloves or with a case).

However, reports soon surfaced that Apple ran into "design issues" with the buttons and Cirrus Logic subsequently confirmed the cancellation of the feature.

Kuo also shared that the use of a titanium frame on the iPhone 15 Pro led to "high processing difficulty and significant design changes during development" which could have resulted in Apple ditching the plan at the last minute.

Source: Economic Daily News via 9to5Mac

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