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iOS 18 might have spoiled a major iPhone 16 hardware change

Published Jun 12th, 2024 3:02PM EDT
How to fast charge iPhone 15 Pro
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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Apple previewed iOS 18 during WWDC 2024 earlier this week. With its release expected around the announcement of the iPhone 16, we can’t help but wonder what this operating system update can tell us about Apple’s next-generation iPhone models.

During WWDC 2023, Apple introduced Apple Vision Pro and the Spatial Video feature. At the time, I wrote that Cupertino most likely teased Spatial Video coming to iPhone 15 Pro to popularize this spatial computer feature — and I was right.

Now, an iOS 18 tweak leads me to believe that some rumors about the iPhone 16 are probably true, and Apple has a major change coming to at least some of its new phones later this year. X user Greg Sarafian noticed that iOS 18’s display bezels expand with a new animation to indicate when a button is being pressed.

While you could say this is Apple’s attention to detail with its UI, I think this might be related to a buttonless iPhone 16. This feature was first expected for the iPhone 15 Pro models but was ultimately scrapped. Now, at least two reputable sources have corroborated this hardware change for the iPhone 16.

Last year, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed Apple was holding the solid-state buttons launch for the iPhone 16 Pro due to “unresolved technical issues before mass production.” Then, in May, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said Apple was “wavering” this feature due to costs and complexity. Still, he believes it’s “likely” to be included with the following year’s Pro models.

Most recently, a report by Taiwan’s Economic Daily News said manufacturer ASE might have won a large order for iPhone SiP modules. With that, the company would be responsible for the iPhone 16 capacitive buttons. The publication said Apple plans to remove the main physical buttons from the next iPhone as both volume and power buttons would be solid-state.

Now, with iOS 18’s design tweak, this could be the biggest indicator that Apple is heavily considering solid-state buttons for the iPhone 16, as this UI could indicate, alongside haptic feedback, that you are pressing a button.

Besides that, we heard several rumors about the iPhone 16, including thinner bezels, larger displays, and camera improvements. With iOS 18 already being tested by developers, it won’t take long until Apple officially unveils its next iPhone.

BGR will keep following the latest rumors and bring everything we learn from iOS 18.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.