The traditional mute switch on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max supposedly will be replaced with a static, touch-sensitive button. If true, it’s possible this will be too easy to activate so users don’t get the notifications they expect.
Just-leaked CAD images allegedly show how the buttons on the upcoming iPhones will look. And that they look very easy to press accidentally. It also doesn’t look like the new button would offer a visual cue that an iPhone is set to silent mode.
No more traditional buttons or switches
The volume and power buttons in the 2023 iPhone 15 will be solid state, according to a reliable source. That means they won’t move when touched, but will respond with haptic feedback.
While the change might not make a big difference for the volume buttons, the mute switch is a different story. On current iPhones, it is a switch not a button because it’s supposed to be somewhat more difficult to activate. But newly leaked CAD drawings supposedly showing this autumn’s iPhone 15 Pro reveal a solid-state mute button, not a switch.
The images were posted on Twitter by an Apple tipster who goes by ShrimpApplePro.
‘Why does my %$ƒ© iPhone 15 Pro keep getting set to silent?!’
A touch-sensitive, non-moving button in place of a switch means someone could put their handset on silent without noticing it just by picking up the device.
An iPhone on silent mode vibrates instead of making an audible alert in most situations. That can make it easy to miss notifications, though alarms set in the Clock app still sound, and calls from Favorite contacts still ring in silent mode.
Apple could put a workaround into iOS 17, of course. Perhaps an on-screen pop-up will appear asking if the user really wants to put their iPhone 15 Pro on silent when the mute button is touched. But this won’t be as easy as just flipping a switch.
Still, solid-state buttons don’t wear out, and they’re very difficult to break. They’re also waterproof. None of that can be said of standard buttons and switches.
And all this is unconfirmed. We won’t know for sure until autumn 2023 if the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will ditch traditional buttons and switches.