Of all the leaks that have occurred so far with the iPhone 15, the most notable is that its hypothetical design has already been revealed in a CAD render. And precisely on the basis of this it has been possible to appreciate a historic change in button designsomething that was also not clear when it was first known that they would replace the physical buttons with haptics.
And in recent days several sources have pointed to two very significant changes: union between the volume up and down button and the “goodbye” to the switch to silence the phone. Putting the disappearance of that switch in quotation marks is because, although it will technically disappear, its functionality will continue to be present with another haptic button.
Visually it is a historical change. Functionally it will stay the same.
Reviewing everything we have seen, we will start by saying that, if the leaks end up being true (they seem to be true), the first change that the user will notice is that there will be a single button for volume up and volume down. A unification that would also continue to allow pressing the upper part to increase the volume and lower it at the bottom.
Thus, functionally everything would remain the same, but it will probably become noticeable in a certain way a different sensation when pressed due to the small haptic engine that they would bring. This would emit a vibration that in a way would be the same as that of the physical buttons, but without being so. Something similar to what happened when the iPhone 7 changed its traditional Home button for a haptic button that gave the sensation of pressing it when touched, but that really was not such. In fact, when it was turned off, you could tell that it was a one hundred percent flat surface.
On the other hand, the mute switch would become a button. It is not specified in the leaks whether physical or haptic, but everything would indicate that it would also be haptic to go according to the others and make sense of a change that would probably hurt the sensitivity of some fans. See what happened a year ago with that switch on the OnePlus 10T, although in his case it was a complete disappearance.
The fact is that the classic mechanism that Apple has implemented in all its iPhones will say goodbye as we know it to be a single haptic button that, we understand, would emit different vibrations to indicate if you are turning the phone sound on and off. The advantages that this can bring to the user remain to be seen.
It is to be expected that with such a change Apple achieves more space inside the devices that they could well take advantage of for a larger battery. All subject to the fact that the haptic motors behind each button actually occupy less space than the physical mechanisms that they have integrated up to now.