Apple's upcoming 2023 flagship iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models were expected to feature solid-state buttons for volume, power, etc., similar to the Home button on iPhone 7. However, a fresh survey by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests Apple will go for regular buttons instead due to "unresolved technical issues before mass production."
Kuo writes in his blog that reverting from the new solid-state button design will negatively impact Apple's exclusive Controller IC supplier Cirrus Logic and Taptic Engine supplier AAC Technologies. That's because investors had predicted that the new design would increase profits and revenues for the suppliers. However, Luxshare ICT, which is another Taptic Engine supplier for solid-state buttons, may not be affected as much given its bigger operating scale.
Making hardware changes and switching back to regular physical buttons is still possible as iPhone 15 Pro is in EVT (Engineering Validation and Testing) development stage, according to Kuo. He added that it should have "a limited impact on the mass production schedule and shipments for Pro models."
The iPhone 15 series is due for release in the second half of 2023. Among various features, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to have the thinnest bezels of all phones and a thinner camera bump. It was also demonstrated that the newer models may not be compatible with older iPhone 14 cases and Apple is expected to replace iPhone's Lightning port with USB-C.
Source: Ming-Chi Kuo (Medium)