iPhone 16 capacitive button rumor resurrected by supply chain report

in Future Apple Hardware

As of late, the rumor mill has been quiet on the topic of all of the mechanical buttons on the iPhone 16 family being replaced by capacitive ones, but a new report claims a supplier has been picked to do just that.

A render of four iPhones based on leaked iPhone 16 Pro designs. They are colored black, white, purple, and blue.
iPhone 16 Pro may have larger screens

Capacitive buttons were said to replace all of the mechanical ones in the iPhone 15 series, but that obviously didn't pan out. However, if a new report on Monday morning can be believed, Apple has picked a long-time partner in its supply chain to fulfill the orders

The report from Economic Daily on Monday claims that Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) has been awarded a massive order for the component. Again, the technology is rumored to finally replace all of the buttons in the iPhone 16 family across the board.

A completely new rumor in the report claims that there will be two Taptic Engine motors to give users vibration feedback when "pressing" any capacitive button. This is very similar to how the "click" on Apple's Magic Trackpad works.

Other details include the need for two new SIPs to remove the mechanical buttons, also provided by long-time supplier SMIC. The orders are said to hit volume production in the third quarter, but that feels late to be used for the iPhone 16 which needs to ship in quantity in the last days of the third quarter.

The "Capture Button" for iPhone 16 is said to be called "Project Nova" internally, while the capacitive transformation of the Action button is called "Project Atlas." The previous -- and perhaps current -- "Project Bongo" referred to using capacitive buttons for the remaining buttons.

It's been a few months since the rumor mill last said anything about capacitive buttons on the iPhone 16. Very early rumors about the iPhone 16 said that the Capture button would be capacitive. But in January, it was said to be mechanical, with pressure-sensitivity.

Rumors for the iPhone 16 lineup include larger display sizes, Tetraprism 5x zoom cameras for both pro models, and a new camera arrangement for non-pro iPhones. The iPhone 16 lineup is expected to be revealed in September 2024.

Economic Daily has a good track record as it pertains to knowing when Apple suppliers have large orders for something. It is notably less accurate when it pertains to what Apple is doing with those orders. In this case, the questionable aspect claim is that all of the buttons will be replaced by capacitive ones.

Rumor Score: Possible

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  • Reply 1 of 2
    The engineering design of iPhone 16 will have been finalised several months ago. 
    I also hear rumours that iPhone 19 will be released in September 2027. Shock, horror. 
  • Reply 2 of 2
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 891member
    A tough year to be an Apple news site reporting on iPhone rumors. We're just 4 1/2 months out from new phones and the rumor mill is pretty dry... not sure if it's because Apple has plugged the leaks or if the changes are few and unexciting. 
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