iPhone 15: Apple’s big button reduction

According to several leaks, the iPhone 15 will no longer have mechanical buttons in the future. Apple is also planning to redesign the switches.

The current mechanical iPhone switches – here on an iPhone 14 Pro Max.  (Image: Apple)

Apple is planning to end all mechanical buttons on the iPhone 15. The switch to so-called solid-state buttons has been rumored for a long time. Now there are the first details on how the change should take place. Apparently, Apple is also planning to get rid of the popular slider that has been used to mute the iPhone for years. Instead, it will just be a single button.

Everything is only virtual

Another change concerns the volume buttons. These are currently divided into two. According to rumors on Twitter and from the Chinese Internet, there will only be one “rocker” switch, i.e. an element that you can “press” up and down – no longer two individual keys. In practice, however, the component is completely fixed, Apple generates the feedback via the Taptic Engine integrated into the iPhone, a small vibration motor. This has worked well for years, for example, the trackpad on MacBooks is completely immovable when you press it “down” to click – and the iPhone home button has also been static for years on the models that still have it.

The sleep/wake button on the side is also supposed to be solid state, it only consists of one button anyway. Here, too, the Taptic Engine accepts the acknowledgment. Apple had introduced the end of real buttons more and more in its devices. This has also been planned for the Apple Watch for a long time, at least for the rotation of the digital crown, the vibration motor already “clicks”. For Apple, solid-state technology has many advantages, including the fact that button sealing is no longer required to make the case liquid and dust resistant.

It can become a security issue

It is still unclear whether all iPhone 15 models will end the mechanics. Rumor mills are only very sure about the iPhone 15 Pro, which can also be proven by leaked CAD drawings. In order to avoid problems – for example that important reset functions are no longer accessible and the device does not mute itself – Apple must implement the solid-state functions at a deep technical level so that they can be used even when large parts of the device are unavailable operating system crashed.

Since there is no mechanical feedback, the user can only say that the desired pressure was actually carried out via the feedback from the Taptic Engine. Security experts also see a certain potential for the attack in the missing mechanics, for example in which users can no longer say with certainty that their iPhone is switched off. However, the problem already exists when (very good) attackers intercept the reset or switch-off query.


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