New Apple Leak Reveals iPhone 15 Design Impact

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10/31 Update below. This post was originally published on October 29.

Apple’s iPhone 15 range is designed to make big changes externally and internally, but now a really revealing design change has been leaked.

According to respected analyst Ming Chi KuoApple will replace the physical volume and power buttons on premium iPhone 15 models with solid-state (unremovable) buttons that provide feedback through haptic motors. And we already know his code name.

Last month, anonymous leaker ShrimpApplePro tweeted that Apple is working on an ‘iPhone without a physical button’. Project code name ‘Bongo’”. The lack of context around the time frame meant that it was widely overlooked, dismissed by many as missing years. But Kuo changed all that.

“My latest survey indicates that the volume button and power button of two new high-end iPhone 15/2H23 models can adopt a solid-state button design (similar to the home button design of iPhone 7/8/ SE2 and 3) to replace the physical/mechanical button layout,” explains Kuo.

Kuo says Apple will install Taptic Engines (the company’s brand name for haptic engines) on the inner left and right sides of the new iPhones, which provide force feedback “so users feel like they’re pressing physical buttons.” Interestingly, Kuo says that he, too, expects premium Android smartphones to adopt this design quickly.

10/31 Update: Writing in their latest Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s gurman brand has bet on USB-C coming to the iPhone 15 range and outlined how Apple will present the change to customers.

“While Apple seems bitter that a government is intervening in its product roadmap, the switch from Lightning to USB-C is actually a good thing for consumers,” Gurman argues.

While Apple didn’t specifically confirm that it would fix a USB-C port on the new iPhones, Gurman says they will indeed come to the iPhone 15 models, implying it will be for the entire lineup rather than Pro/Ultra exclusive, as they claim. some leaks. .

“You can bet that when Apple announces the iPhone 15, the change won’t be described as government intervention,” says Gurman. “It will be presented as a way to simplify charging on iPhones, iPads and Macs.” This is no doubt true, if somewhat untrue, given that Apple could have switched iPhones to USB-C years ago; after all, Apple itself participated in the development of the standard.

When Lighting was first introduced in September 2012, its compact reversible nature justified its existence over the clunky micro-USB. But that argument has lost weight when USB-C arrived and became ubiquitous on iPads and Macs, creating a self-imposed fracture of the company’s charging solutions.

While the concept sounds strange, it makes sense. Apple has a lot of experience with haptic motors, having pulled off this sensory trick with MacBook touchpads as far back as 2015. The company also scaled back its haptic motors to introduce ‘3D Touch’ on the iPhone 6S, but ultimately failed to make its functionality work. intuitive. removing the feature with iPhone 11.

This was a rare example of Apple making great hardware but couldn’t find a software app, so its return seems appropriate. Moving parts also carry a higher risk of failure, so the transition should increase reliability and reduce repair costs. It can also increase resistance to water. The technology could even be extended to offer DualSense-like feedback in games, given that there will be motors on both sides of the phones.

A few questions remain, such as how the cases will work (cutbacks may seem strange), but it sounds like a very positive move overall. Combine this with leaks claiming that Apple will introduce an iPhone 15 Ultra with a super-tough titanium chassis, dual-sided front cameras, a Thunderbolt 4-powered USB-C port, along with a new design for standard iPhone 15 models. , and it looks like the excitement returns to iPhones in 2023.

Look at this space.

MORE FROM FORBESNew Apple Leak Reveals More Details of iPhone 15 Launch


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