Rumored iPhone 15 haptic buttons hinted at by key component supplier

Apple iPhone 14
(Image credit: iMore)

Apple's iPhone 15, likely to be released in 2023, is already at the center of rumors suggesting the device will ditch clicky buttons in favor of a more solid-state approach. A potential supplier for parts needed to make that happen might have hinted that it will.

Cirrus Logic is a company that makes components that can be used in Apple's Taptic Engine. The company's CEO says it will "engage with a strategic customer" to "bring a new HPMS component to market in smartphones next year."

Taptic tech

Cirrus Logic CEO John Forsyth has also suggested that the new component will come to market towards the end of next year, linking it ideally with the potential release of iPhone 15 models in or around September 2023.

Now, a Barclays investor note seen by MacRumors (opens in new tab) points to the component being used in a future Taptic Engine designed to mimic the licking of a button.

"When looking at potential use cases, the largest change in new iPhone models next year is the removal of the buttons, which would require additional drivers for the haptics engine, making it the most likely use case for new content," the note says.

This all backs up a report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that recently suggested that clicky buttons would be out next year, likely to be replaced by Taptic Engines that would simulate a click similarly to how the iPhone SE's Home button works. Apple also affects the clicking of its trackpads similarly.

Apple's wish to remove clicky buttons is likely to be in an attempt to make its iPhones even more water-resistant, removing multiple possible ingress points for moisture. It could also be a potential differentiator between the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.