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iPhone 15 and 15 Plus might feature capacitive buttons like the Pros

Published Apr 10th, 2023 6:50AM EDT
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Front
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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All iPhone 15 rumors claim the same thing that the iPhone 15 Pro models will feature a big design change when it comes to physical buttons. Apple will move from physical buttons to capacitive buttons on these devices, which will resemble the functionality of the trackpad on MacBooks. Taptic Engines will provide haptic feedback, giving you the impression that you’re pressing buttons, although that’s not happening.

Another set of iPhone 15 CAD designs dropped over the weekend, changing the current narrative. If a leaker’s new information is accurate, all four iPhone 15 models will feature capacitive buttons instead of physical ones. But the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus might have a different button design.

Twitter user ShrimpApplePro posted on Twitter CAD files of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, complete with detailed dimensions for the handset. The leaker presented the purported sizes of different iPhone 15 Pro Max design elements. Like the protruding rear cameras, the Dynamic Island, and the new mute button.

That’s where ShrimpApplePro noticed that the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s capacitive buttons feature some sort of conductive padding. This design element will help the buttons work with cases, something recent iPhone 15 rumors detailed.

Upon further inspection, the leaker found that iPhone 15 and 15 Plus CAD files reveal the same design element. The handsets have the same conductive padding atop the buttons. This suggests Apple will use capacitive buttons on the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus.

If the finding is accurate, these buttons should behave like the iPhone 15 Pros. There are some differences, however. For example, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus might retain the physical mute switch. The Pro models might feature a mute button that will supposedly be customizable. Similar to the Apple Watch Ultra’s Action button.

Also, the iPhone 15 Pros will feature a unified volume button, while the non-Pros will have two distinct buttons. But Apple is already testing software for the new capacitive buttons that would work on both designs. That’s according to a recent leak that ShrimpApplePro mentions.

Having all iPhone 15 models feature capacitive buttons instead of physical ones makes plenty of sense. This is Apple’s next-gen button tech for iPhones and iPads. We’ll probably see it on most devices down the road. Even if the leaks aren’t accurate, and the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will stick with physical buttons, I’d still expect the capacitive button tech to trickle down to the cheaper handsets very soon.

With more than five months remaining until the next-gen iPhone launch, we’re bound to see more leaks that will either confirm these suppositions or dispel them.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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