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iPhone 15 Pro case leak shows the Action button that replaces the mute switch

Published Sep 5th, 2023 10:33AM EDT
iPhone 14 Pro Max and Beats Studio Buds+ earbuds
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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Despite its usefulness, the iPhone’s mute switch has been an iconic design feature that Android vendors never attempted to copy and implement. With a simple flick, you can mute and unmute sounds on iPhone. But Apple will ditch that iconic mute switch in favor of a new Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro models. That’s what all the rumors say, and we have another purported iPhone 15 Pro case leak that may confirm the design change.

Everyone is calling it the new Action button because it resembles the button that Apple introduced last year on the Apple Watch Ultra. The most expensive Apple Watch out there has a customizable button that can perform various tasks, depending on what the user chooses.

The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max might get a similar behavior from the Action button. At least, that’s what code findings suggest. What seems to be certain is that the Action button is a solid-state button similar to the MacBook’s trackpad. The button will simulate button presses via a Taptic Engine.

The Action button will likely let you mute the handset like the mute switch. But you’ll also be able to assign other features to it from the Settings app, if leaks are correct.

The button should work with protective cases, too, like the one Sonny Dickson featured in a short video on Twitter/X.

The clip shows an iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max dummy unit that must look a lot like the finished product. The dummy device sits inside protective cases. Whether we’re looking at replacements for the iPhone leather cases that Apple is supposedly retiring is unclear.

We see three different colors for the cases, all featuring a distinctive Action button. Presumably, you press it to mute the handset or perform the designated gesture.

The videos also seem to imply the iPhone 15 Pro will be thicker than before, but that’s something we already expected from the new handsets. The iPhone 15 models should be 0.2 mm thicker than their predecessors, which will let Apple increase the battery capacity.

Unseen in the clip is the USB-C port, another big iPhone 15 design change. As for the rear camera setup, it’s unclear whether either of the three cameras is a periscope camera. If so, we’re looking at an iPhone 15 Pro Max dummy unit. That’s the only 2023 iPhone that is expected to feature a new periscope zoom lens.

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.