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iPhone 15 Pro capacitive buttons may work even when the battery is dead

Published Mar 29th, 2023 10:33AM EDT
iPhone 15 Pro CAD leak
Image: ShrimpApplePro

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For this year’s iPhone 15 Pro series, Apple is expected to change the physical buttons for capacitive ones. While leak CADs already show this new design, an anonymous tipster on the MacRumors forum gives more information on how these capacitive buttons will work when the iPhone is on, off, or with no battery. This tipster had already shared accurate details regarding Dynamic Island before the iPhone 14 Pro officially launched.

According to them, the capacitive buttons will be triggered the same way when the iPhone is dead or powered down. Apple will replace the current Super Lower Energy Mode processor with a new chip. While the Low Energy Mode is capable of doing small tasks, such as using Apple Pay when the phone is dead and using Bluetooth to connect to other Apple devices to track your device with the Find My network, this new chip will do much more.

The iPhone 15 Pro’s new microchip will be able to “immediately sense capacitive button presses, holds, and even detect their own version of 3D Touch with the new volume up/down button, action (ringer switch) button, and power button, while the phone is dead or powered down,” said the leaker.

As of now, Apple is testing both with and without Taptic Engine feedback when the iPhone is powered off but not when the battery is dead. Here’s how this new micro-processor will work for the capacitive buttons of the iPhone 15 Pro:

  • While powered on: capacitive volume, power, and action buttons;
  • While powered off: capacitive volume, power, and action buttons. Drives NFC, LE Bluetooth, LE-UW chip, and possibly Taptic Engine feedback;
  • While the battery is dead: capacitive volume, power, and action buttons. Apple Pay Express card. Drives NFC, LE Bluetooth, and LE-UW chips.

You can learn more about the iPhone 15 series below.

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.