The big pimples are back, baby, or more so, they’ve never really gone away. Industry reports all but confirm that the next iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max probably won’t sport one tactile “taptic” buttons, appearing to confirm earlier reports that Apple was going back to basics about how users go turn on their phone or change their volume.
These “solid-state” controls were meant to be more recessed than regular knobs and allow users to control their phone like a mini trackpad sliding their finger along the edge. The phone would use a so-called “taptic” engine to simulate the click sensation of pressing a button.
As first reported by MacRumors, Texas-based Apple vendor Cirrus Logic was supposed to work on taptic driver signals. In the business letter to shareholders released on Thursday, the company said “a new product that we’ve mentioned in previous letters to shareholders as slated for introduction this fall is no longer expected to hit the market as planned.” Cirrus added that it had “limited visibility” into the customer’s future plans for the product, likely referring to Apple.
The company written in november last year that it was working on high-performance mixed-signal content (HPMS) for smartphones and a product that is expected to be released in the second half of this year. The HPMS system was supposed to connect to the feedback system. Without it, the recessed button would have no reason to exist.
THE iPhone 15 taptic button rumors have been constant over the last few months. Well-known Apple thinkers like analyst Ming-Chi Kuo have said solid-state touch controls will be featured on the upcoming device based on an analysis of major Apple parts suppliers.
In April, Kuo mentioned that iPhone 15 Pro and Pro would lose touch controls “due to unresolved technical issues.” That report alone sent Cirrus shares down 12%. The company’s latest quarterly report didn’t do more to benefit the company’s price, as the day after its fourth quarter report was released, Cirrus shares continued to fall through Friday afternoon ET.
Although more recessed solid-state buttons would help protect devices from unfortunate drops and water damage, there are a few good reasons why Apple might walk away from any new button design. There are significant questions about the impact this would have on caseworkers and people with sensory disabilities. If Apple tried to recreate the success it’s seen with the original iPod’s thumbwheel controls, it may need to go back to the drawing board.
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