Kuo doubles down on iPhone 15 Pro having no physical buttons

Posted:
in iPhone
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has again claimed that the iPhone 15 Pro will switch to solid-state buttons, but this time saying supply chain sources have identified the component manufacturer.

Buttons on the side of an iPhone
Buttons on the side of an iPhone


In October 2022, Kuo said that the "volume button and power button" of the Pro editions of the iPhone 15 range would cease to be physical buttons. He compared them to the home button on the iPhone SE 2, which does not physically press down, but gives taptic feedback as if it does.

(1/5)
Cirrus Logic is the primary winner for canceling physical buttons and the change to adopt solid-state buttons on the 2H23 high-end iPhone 15 models. https://t.co/CNfZOYwRXn

-- (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo)


Now he's chiefly repeating the same detail, but says it comes from his latest survey. For the first time, Kuo's sources also specify that Cirrus Logic will be what he calls "the primary winner" from Apple's move.

Kuo says that Cirrus Logic will be Apple's "exclusive supplier of Taptic Engine's controller IC [integrated circuit, or processor]."

Previously, Kuo has said he expects Android manufacturers to follow suit. This time he's predicting more generally that "if users respond well... I think it may be adopted in other high-end models of product lines in the future."

The volume and sleep/wake buttons reside on the edges of the iPhone chassis, and that chassis has been the subject of rumors about other redesigns. It's predicted that the iPhone 15 range will see a rounded edge design, and may be made of titanium instead of the current, heavier stainless steel.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 1,031member
    If I can no longer press the volume buttons through fabric when the phone is in my pocket, that would be an added inconvenience, and if I can no longer glance at the ringer switch to see if the ringer is on, that too would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s hard to imagine any advantages to the user that would more than make up for these drawbacks. It’s not like the current waterproofing is insufficient for my needs.
    dewmewilliamlondondarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    If I can no longer press the volume buttons through fabric when the phone is in my pocket, that would be an added inconvenience, and if I can no longer glance at the ringer switch to see if the ringer is on, that too would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s hard to imagine any advantages to the user that would more than make up for these drawbacks. It’s not like the current waterproofing is insufficient for my needs.
    Agree with the first point - and add potential impact on case design as many cases cover up those buttons and rely on mechanical movement through their material - but the second point is not really relevant as Kuo has made no mention of replacing the ringer switch.
    dewmewilliamlondondarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 436member
    Change for the better.

    better water proof for sure
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    I wonder what benefits to the user this move has - I mean beyond the obvious elimination of water ingress points?  Perhaps the circuitry for implementing haptic feedback requires less room inside the device?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Solid Stste buttons have been used by Samsung for years This is a good water proofing technique but on the other hand requires  haptic engines which will cut down on battery space
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,341member
    If I can no longer press the volume buttons through fabric when the phone is in my pocket, that would be an added inconvenience, and if I can no longer glance at the ringer switch to see if the ringer is on, that too would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s hard to imagine any advantages to the user that would more than make up for these drawbacks. It’s not like the current waterproofing is insufficient for my needs.
    Well, no one will twist your arm to buy it, right? In addition to better water resistance there’s also the matter of physical switches and their failure rates, accidental activation, etc. So I guess you can look at it from a glass half empty or glass half full perspective. If true there’s nothing stopping Apple from going port-less either, completely sealed. WiFi 7 will solve the data transfer concerns of the “gotta have a USB-C port” crowd, and MagSafe takes care of charging. Of course EU bureaucrats might see things differently, assholes that they are.
    williamhwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 862member
    With MagSafe charging efficiency at half of a cable I’d not welcome that change. My travel battery pack burden instantly doubled. 
    williamlondondarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,647member
    If I can no longer press the volume buttons through fabric when the phone is in my pocket, that would be an added inconvenience, and if I can no longer glance at the ringer switch to see if the ringer is on, that too would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s hard to imagine any advantages to the user that would more than make up for these drawbacks. It’s not like the current waterproofing is insufficient for my needs.
    I’d imagine they could use a piezoelectric switch that only requires pressure to affect the switching action, as opposed to a capacitive switch that has issues with gloves and cases. This would not solve the issue related to the ability to visually detect whether the switchable function is on/off. Adding tiny always-on pilot lights (LEDs) (red when OFF, green or no light when ON) could be used to solve that problem but it wouldn’t solve the problem of how to feel the ringer switch position. That could be solved by adding a distinct response tone/beep to double tapping the back of the phone - or something similar. 

    There are obviously ways to work around potential issues, but they’d have to weigh the cost/benefits. Personally I’d love it if Apple put a tiny red LED next to the ringer on/off switch that lit up (or slowly pulsed to conserve the battery even more) when the ringer switch is in the OFF position. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten that the ringer switch is turned off. As far as the pilot LEDs, I’m talking the tiniest possible, like the ones on the Magic Trackpad. Of course they’d have to be totally sealed to maintain the waterproofing of the device.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 20
    twolf2919 said:
    I wonder what benefits to the user this move has - I mean beyond the obvious elimination of water ingress points?  Perhaps the circuitry for implementing haptic feedback requires less room inside the device?
    Physical buttons compromise reliability and cost more. If Apple's haptic solution works well with gloves and cases, I'll welcome it. The current physical buttons are too hard to locate and operate when I'm wearing gloves and the phone is in my pocket. A haptic interface would allow larger virtual input surfaces and robust tactile feedback.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 20
    applguyapplguy Posts: 230member
    Red and green LEDs are often hard to distinguish for people with red/green color blindness.
    dewme said:
    I’d imagine they could use a piezoelectric switch that only requires pressure to affect the switching action, as opposed to a capacitive switch that has issues with gloves and cases. This would not solve the issue related to the ability to visually detect whether the switchable function is on/off. Adding tiny always-on pilot lights (LEDs) (red when OFF, green or no light when ON) could be used to solve that problem but it wouldn’t solve the problem of how to feel the ringer switch position. That could be solved by adding a distinct response tone/beep to double tapping the back of the phone - or something similar. 

    There are obviously ways to work around potential issues, but they’d have to weigh the cost/benefits. Personally I’d love it if Apple put a tiny red LED next to the ringer on/off switch that lit up (or slowly pulsed to conserve the battery even more) when the ringer switch is in the OFF position. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten that the ringer switch is turned off. As far as the pilot LEDs, I’m talking the tiniest possible, like the ones on the Magic Trackpad. Of course they’d have to be totally sealed to maintain the waterproofing of the device.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 20
    M68000M68000 Posts: 531member
    If I can no longer press the volume buttons through fabric when the phone is in my pocket, that would be an added inconvenience, and if I can no longer glance at the ringer switch to see if the ringer is on, that too would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s hard to imagine any advantages to the user that would more than make up for these drawbacks. It’s not like the current waterproofing is insufficient for my needs.
    Your point about the ringer switch is a good one.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 20
    M68000M68000 Posts: 531member
    lkrupp said:
    If I can no longer press the volume buttons through fabric when the phone is in my pocket, that would be an added inconvenience, and if I can no longer glance at the ringer switch to see if the ringer is on, that too would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s hard to imagine any advantages to the user that would more than make up for these drawbacks. It’s not like the current waterproofing is insufficient for my needs.
    Well, no one will twist your arm to buy it, right? In addition to better water resistance there’s also the matter of physical switches and their failure rates, accidental activation, etc. So I guess you can look at it from a glass half empty or glass half full perspective. If true there’s nothing stopping Apple from going port-less either, completely sealed. WiFi 7 will solve the data transfer concerns of the “gotta have a USB-C port” crowd, and MagSafe takes care of charging. Of course EU bureaucrats might see things differently, assholes that they are.
    regarding “failure rates” of
    switches - been using iPhones since the original and several since then,  have not had one switch or button failure ever.  Nor do I know anybody who has issue.  Your mileage may vary but I think reliability is not an issue.
    avon b7logic2.6darkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    M68000M68000 Posts: 531member
    Wondering what it would mean for case manufacturers,  if anything.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,647member
    applguy said:
    Red and green LEDs are often hard to distinguish for people with red/green color blindness.
    dewme said:
    I’d imagine they could use a piezoelectric switch that only requires pressure to affect the switching action, as opposed to a capacitive switch that has issues with gloves and cases. This would not solve the issue related to the ability to visually detect whether the switchable function is on/off. Adding tiny always-on pilot lights (LEDs) (red when OFF, green or no light when ON) could be used to solve that problem but it wouldn’t solve the problem of how to feel the ringer switch position. That could be solved by adding a distinct response tone/beep to double tapping the back of the phone - or something similar. 

    There are obviously ways to work around potential issues, but they’d have to weigh the cost/benefits. Personally I’d love it if Apple put a tiny red LED next to the ringer on/off switch that lit up (or slowly pulsed to conserve the battery even more) when the ringer switch is in the OFF position. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten that the ringer switch is turned off. As far as the pilot LEDs, I’m talking the tiniest possible, like the ones on the Magic Trackpad. Of course they’d have to be totally sealed to maintain the waterproofing of the device.

    Of course, which is why I mentioned the “no light” as a valid state indicator. Not trying to do a UI design here, just pointing out that if you remove a physical switch you can provide a supplemental indicator to convey the necessary information. I don’t have r/g color blindness but I do have acuity issues due to retina surgery and the red line that Apple puts on the current ringer switch is nearly impossible for me to see without a lighted magnifier. I’d have a much better chance of seeing a slowly pulsing LED of any color that is compatible with the most number of sighted users. Which raises another concern …
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 20
    M68000 said:
    lkrupp said:
    If I can no longer press the volume buttons through fabric when the phone is in my pocket, that would be an added inconvenience, and if I can no longer glance at the ringer switch to see if the ringer is on, that too would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s hard to imagine any advantages to the user that would more than make up for these drawbacks. It’s not like the current waterproofing is insufficient for my needs.
    Well, no one will twist your arm to buy it, right? In addition to better water resistance there’s also the matter of physical switches and their failure rates, accidental activation, etc. So I guess you can look at it from a glass half empty or glass half full perspective. If true there’s nothing stopping Apple from going port-less either, completely sealed. WiFi 7 will solve the data transfer concerns of the “gotta have a USB-C port” crowd, and MagSafe takes care of charging. Of course EU bureaucrats might see things differently, assholes that they are.
    regarding “failure rates” of
    switches - been using iPhones since the original and several since then,  have not had one switch or button failure ever.  Nor do I know anybody who has issue.  Your mileage may vary but I think reliability is not an issue.
    You're a sample size of "several". Apple has shipped billions of iPods/iPhones/iPads/Macs. They know the failure rates. During my career in electronic device design, mechanical switches of any kind were a known reliability issue and we endeavored to eliminate them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    applguy said:
    Red and green LEDs are often hard to distinguish for people with red/green color blindness.
    dewme said:
    I’d imagine they could use a piezoelectric switch that only requires pressure to affect the switching action, as opposed to a capacitive switch that has issues with gloves and cases. This would not solve the issue related to the ability to visually detect whether the switchable function is on/off. Adding tiny always-on pilot lights (LEDs) (red when OFF, green or no light when ON) could be used to solve that problem but it wouldn’t solve the problem of how to feel the ringer switch position. That could be solved by adding a distinct response tone/beep to double tapping the back of the phone - or something similar. 

    There are obviously ways to work around potential issues, but they’d have to weigh the cost/benefits. Personally I’d love it if Apple put a tiny red LED next to the ringer on/off switch that lit up (or slowly pulsed to conserve the battery even more) when the ringer switch is in the OFF position. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten that the ringer switch is turned off. As far as the pilot LEDs, I’m talking the tiniest possible, like the ones on the Magic Trackpad. Of course they’d have to be totally sealed to maintain the waterproofing of the device.

    So to accommodate less than 1% of the population the rest of us have to do without?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,515member
    bsimpsen said:
    M68000 said:
    lkrupp said:
    If I can no longer press the volume buttons through fabric when the phone is in my pocket, that would be an added inconvenience, and if I can no longer glance at the ringer switch to see if the ringer is on, that too would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s hard to imagine any advantages to the user that would more than make up for these drawbacks. It’s not like the current waterproofing is insufficient for my needs.
    Well, no one will twist your arm to buy it, right? In addition to better water resistance there’s also the matter of physical switches and their failure rates, accidental activation, etc. So I guess you can look at it from a glass half empty or glass half full perspective. If true there’s nothing stopping Apple from going port-less either, completely sealed. WiFi 7 will solve the data transfer concerns of the “gotta have a USB-C port” crowd, and MagSafe takes care of charging. Of course EU bureaucrats might see things differently, assholes that they are.
    regarding “failure rates” of
    switches - been using iPhones since the original and several since then,  have not had one switch or button failure ever.  Nor do I know anybody who has issue.  Your mileage may vary but I think reliability is not an issue.
    You're a sample size of "several". Apple has shipped billions of iPods/iPhones/iPads/Macs. They know the failure rates. During my career in electronic device design, mechanical switches of any kind were a known reliability issue and we endeavored to eliminate them.
    I think M68000's casual observation is correct. 

    Reliability is tested for and catered to in the device design even though is only statistical as opposed to stress testing every single button. That said all buttons are tested on each and every iPhone, just not stress tested. 

    There are buttons and there are buttons. Buttons on smartphones are highly unlikely to fail hence the general observation that reliability isn't an issue. 

    Broken glass due to drops is far, far more likely but manufacturers still switched from plastic and metal to glass backs knowing that impact resistance would be diminished. That is because drop damage repair is paid for by the user (either directly or indirectly) and is a revenue stream for manufacturers. 

    Yet, the same applies to batteries and electronics. Ambiental factors are far more likely to lead to problems but not a lot of effort has been put into improving those aspects which impact reliability even if it is the manufacturer that picks up the tab if failure occurs during the warranty period. 

    Even ports have been sufficiently reliable that the industry has not rushed to bring portless devices to market. 

    I would say the butterfly keyboard was a great example of unreliable design but there is no rush to substitute mechanical keyboards with touch keyboards. 

    There are tradeoffs in all design decisions and some them affect reliability. Some may be 50/50 decisions. Others (many??) are simply excuses for upsell to shorten the lifespan of the product or generate a secondary market for 'accessories'. 

    Case in point: Some Bosch refrigerator draws have design issue where they break in exactly the same point under weight or impact. A drawer that has been on the market for over a decade and has seen not a single design review to improve the impact resistance or strengthen the plastic webbing which is so flimsy that it does not stand a chance of lasting more than a couple of years. Bosch has seen me purchase no less than four replacements over 11 years with exactly the same problem. 



    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 20
    dewme said:
    I’d imagine they could use a piezoelectric switch that only requires pressure to affect the switching action, as opposed to a capacitive switch that has issues with gloves and cases. This would not solve the issue related to the ability to visually detect whether the switchable function is on/off. Adding tiny always-on pilot lights (LEDs) (red when OFF, green or no light when ON) could be used to solve that problem but it wouldn’t solve the problem of how to feel the ringer switch position. That could be solved by adding a distinct response tone/beep to double tapping the back of the phone - or something similar. 

    There are obviously ways to work around potential issues, but they’d have to weigh the cost/benefits. Personally I’d love it if Apple put a tiny red LED next to the ringer on/off switch that lit up (or slowly pulsed to conserve the battery even more) when the ringer switch is in the OFF position. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten that the ringer switch is turned off. As far as the pilot LEDs, I’m talking the tiniest possible, like the ones on the Magic Trackpad. Of course they’d have to be totally sealed to maintain the waterproofing of the device.

    Ugh, no.  I keep my phone beside my bed, I don't want a LED messing up my sleep, and I don't want to have to put gaffer tape on my phone.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    darkvader said:
    dewme said:
    I’d imagine they could use a piezoelectric switch that only requires pressure to affect the switching action, as opposed to a capacitive switch that has issues with gloves and cases. This would not solve the issue related to the ability to visually detect whether the switchable function is on/off. Adding tiny always-on pilot lights (LEDs) (red when OFF, green or no light when ON) could be used to solve that problem but it wouldn’t solve the problem of how to feel the ringer switch position. That could be solved by adding a distinct response tone/beep to double tapping the back of the phone - or something similar. 

    There are obviously ways to work around potential issues, but they’d have to weigh the cost/benefits. Personally I’d love it if Apple put a tiny red LED next to the ringer on/off switch that lit up (or slowly pulsed to conserve the battery even more) when the ringer switch is in the OFF position. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten that the ringer switch is turned off. As far as the pilot LEDs, I’m talking the tiniest possible, like the ones on the Magic Trackpad. Of course they’d have to be totally sealed to maintain the waterproofing of the device.

    Ugh, no.  I keep my phone beside my bed, I don't want a LED messing up my sleep, and I don't want to have to put gaffer tape on my phone.
    Gaffer tape is nice  ;)


    edited January 14 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 20 of 20
    M68000M68000 Posts: 531member
    bsimpsen said:
    M68000 said:
    lkrupp said:
    If I can no longer press the volume buttons through fabric when the phone is in my pocket, that would be an added inconvenience, and if I can no longer glance at the ringer switch to see if the ringer is on, that too would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s hard to imagine any advantages to the user that would more than make up for these drawbacks. It’s not like the current waterproofing is insufficient for my needs.
    Well, no one will twist your arm to buy it, right? In addition to better water resistance there’s also the matter of physical switches and their failure rates, accidental activation, etc. So I guess you can look at it from a glass half empty or glass half full perspective. If true there’s nothing stopping Apple from going port-less either, completely sealed. WiFi 7 will solve the data transfer concerns of the “gotta have a USB-C port” crowd, and MagSafe takes care of charging. Of course EU bureaucrats might see things differently, assholes that they are.
    regarding “failure rates” of
    switches - been using iPhones since the original and several since then,  have not had one switch or button failure ever.  Nor do I know anybody who has issue.  Your mileage may vary but I think reliability is not an issue.
    You're a sample size of "several". Apple has shipped billions of iPods/iPhones/iPads/Macs. They know the failure rates. During my career in electronic device design, mechanical switches of any kind were a known reliability issue and we endeavored to eliminate them.
    Yes but consider that many people insist on replacing their phones every year and don’t even have them that long to break.  Also,  a lot of people only keep their phones less than 4 years.  I would think the phone buttons are expected to last far long than 4 years. 
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