New Apple Leak Reveals iPhone 15 Design Shock

New Apple Leak Reveals iPhone 15 Design Shock

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01/11 Update below. This article was originally published on October 29

Apple’s iPhone 15 lineup is expected to bring big changes on the outside and inside, but now a really telling design change has leaked.

According to a respected analyst Ming Chi Kuo, Apple will replace the physical volume and power buttons on premium iPhone 15 models with solid-state (non-removable) buttons that provide feedback via haptic motors. And we already know his code name.

Last month, anonymous leaker ShrimpApplePro tweeted that Apple is working on an “iPhone without a physical button”. Project code name ‘Bongo’. The lack of context around the time period meant it was largely overlooked, written off by many as years away. But Kuo changed all that.

“My latest investigation indicates that the volume button and power button of two new high-end iPhone 15/2H23 models may adopt a solid-state button design (similar to the home button design of iPhone 7/8/SE2 & 3) to replace the physical/mechanical button design,” Kuo explains.

Kuo says Apple will install Taptic Engines (the company’s trademark for haptic motors) on the inner left and right sides of new iPhones, which provide force feedback “so users feel like they’re tapping buttons. physical buttons”. Interestingly, Kuo says he also expects high-end Android smartphones to adopt this design quickly.

Update 10/31: writes in his latest Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Marc Gurman threw its weight behind the arrival of USB-C in the iPhone 15 lineup and outlined how Apple will introduce the change to customers.

“While Apple seems to be bitter about a government intervening in its product roadmap, the switch from Lightning to USB-C is actually a good thing for consumers,” Gurman says.

While Apple hasn’t specifically confirmed it will fix a USB-C port on new iPhones, Gurman says they will indeed come to iPhone 15 models, implying it will be for the entire line. rather than Pro/Ultra exclusive as some leaks claim. .

“You can bet that when Apple announces the iPhone 15, the change won’t be portrayed as government intervention,” Gurman says. “It will be presented as a way to simplify charging on iPhone, iPad and Mac.” That’s undoubtedly true, if a bit hypocritical, given that Apple could have switched iPhones to USB-C years ago – after all, Apple itself was involved in the development of the norm.

When Lighting was first introduced in September 2012, its compact reversible nature justified its existence over the irregular micro-USB. But that argument lost steam as USB-C arrived and became ubiquitous on iPads and Macs, creating a self-imposed divide in the company’s charging solutions.

01/11 Update: Apple’s iPhone design decisions continue to leak or, in this case, lack thereof.

in a new supertweet to its premium subscribers, display specialist Ross Young revealed that “Apple has yet to finalize its choice of display on the SE4. It is believed to be considering 6.1-inch OLEDs from 2 vendors as well than 5.7-6.1 inch LCD screens from 2 vendors.

It’s really surprising. Apple is known for working several generations ahead, so it’s highly unusual for the company to still be deliberating on something as fundamental as the size of its next iPhone SE. That said, I guess I know why.

The explosion in sales of the massive 6.7-inch iPhone Pro Max models, combined with weak sales of the 5.4-inch iPhone Mini line (which led to its cancellation), had convinced the company Big Was In. But afterwards, Disappointing iPhone 14 Plus sales confused things, with customers avoiding Apple’s cheapest big-screen iPhone.

It wasn’t supposed to happen. The combination of a large screen and long battery life at a (relatively) affordable price led many, including myself, to predict that the iPhone 14 Plus would be the best-selling iPhone 14 model. Instead, Apple finds itself torn between smaller, budget LCD options and a 6.1-inch OLED. The latter could further cannibalize iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus sales at the low end after they have already been pegged to the high end by customers opting for the Pro models, where the cost differences diminish when They are spread over a carrier contract of 2 to 3 years.

As such, Apple has a few thoughts to make. Additionally, with Young saying in a follow-up supertweet that the company won’t release the iPhone SE4 until 2024, it still has time to assess the long-term sales of all iPhones before making a decision.

It’s a decision with significant consequences because Apple arguably got its product segmentation strategy wrong for the first time in years. It’s a strategy that has also raised doubts about the positioning of other ranges, including the entry-level and Pro-level iPads and the entry-level MacBook Air M1 against its M2 successor.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the reported delay in shipping the M2 MacBook Pro isn’t related to the company reconsidering how it will position the M1 models in general: keep selling them at a discount like the M1 MacBook Air and risk further cannibalization or replacing the models entirely. Across multiple product lines, it’s a growing problem that Apple needs to address.

Although the concept sounds strange, it makes sense. Apple has a lot of experience with haptic motors, having pulled off this sensory deception trick with MacBook touchpads since 2015. The company also scaled down its haptic motors to introduce ‘3D Touch’ to the iPhone 6S but ultimately only failed to make its functionality intuitive. kill functionality with the iPhone 11.

It was a rare example of Apple making great hardware but failing to find a software application, so its return seems fitting. Moving parts also carry a higher risk of failure, so the transition should increase reliability and reduce repair costs. It can also increase water resistance. The technology could even be extended to offer DualSense-like feedback in games, given that there will be motors on both sides of the phones.

Some questions remain, such as how the cases will work (the cutouts may look weird), but this seems like a very positive decision overall. Combine that with leaks claiming Apple will introduce an iPhone 15 Ultra with a super-strong titanium chassis, dual-sided front cameras, a Thunderbolt 4-powered USB-C port, plus a new design for iPhone models. iPhone 15 standard – and it looks like the excitement is coming back to iPhones in 2023.

Watch this place.

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