Solid-state iPhone 15 button cancellation confirmed by supplier

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Solid-state iPhone 15 button cancellation confirmed by supplier

By this point, it was already a near-certainty that Apple had canceled plans for the anticipated solid-state iPhone 15 Pro volume buttons. However, if we needed any further convincing, it arrived in the form of a shareholder letter yesterday.

A company that had been expected to produce one of the components needed for solid-state buttons last year hinted at an order from Apple – and yesterday effectively announced the cancellation of this project …

Cancellation of solid-state iPhone 15 buttons

The iPhone 15 Pro was initially rumored to switch from a mechanical click mute switch and volume rocker to a solid-state version with haptic feedback simulating the click. Apple uses haptic feedback to simulate clicking buttons without moving parts on its current products with Home buttons as well as its trackpads. The level of detail available did lend weight to the idea that the plan was real.

However, two reliable sources later said that Apple had been forced to abandon the plan, due to reliability and production complexity issues.

Further corroboration from Cirrus Logic

Cirrus Logic makes chips that drive the haptic engine in iPhones, used to provide kinetic feedback for things like long presses on icons. The company was believed to be in line for a new Apple contract to make driver chips for the solid-state volume buttons, and hinted at this in a letter to shareholders last November.

The chips fall under a category known as High-Performance Mixed-Signal (HPMS), and the company said this:

We continue to engage with a strategic customer and expect to bring a new HPMS component to market in smartphones next year.

That strongly pointed to the iPhone 15, as did a new letter the company sent to shareholders yesterday, saying that this was not now happening:

That said, among the HPMS opportunities we have discussed, a new product that we mentioned in previous shareholder letters as being scheduled for introduction this fall is no longer expected to come to market as planned. As we have limited visibility into our customer’s future plans for this product at this time, we are removing the revenue associated with this component from our internal model. While this is undeniably a setback, we are proud of our execution in this program. Our customer relationship remains very strong as we continue to collaborate on a range of technologies and products in the HPMS space.

The fact that Cirrus is an existing iPhone supplier in this area, and specifically references a customer with a product launching “this fall,” paints as clear a picture as possible short of actually naming Apple.

Action button still expected

Recent reports do suggest the two iPhone 15 Pro models will still be getting a programmable Action button to replace the mute switch, though this may be a mechanical rather than solid-state button. To me that was always the far more interesting news anyway.

This appealed to me because I’d love a dedicated button to switch on my iPhone and open the Camera app, so it’s immediately ready to take a photo. This would be a significant improvement on the long-press on the camera button on the lock screen.

Check out other iPhone 15 reports here.

Via MacRumors

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