The gap between Pro and non-Pro smartphones will widen in 2023, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s prediction made last month that Apple will do away with physical buttons for “two high-end iPhones.” Now a second source confirms the information, but it took some reading between the lines to arrive to the same conclusion.
This time, it’s Barclays analysts who make the forecast based on statements made by Cirrus Logic in both a letter to shareholders and a recent earnings call (opens in new tab). For perspective, consider that a button-free iPhone 15 Pro would likely need the haptic technology developed by Cirrus Logic, which powers a large portion of the haptic technology that powers contemporary iPhones.
The business intends to “bring a new HPMS component to market in smartphones next year,” according to the letter, as reported by MacRumors(opens in new tab). The company’s current products include haptic drivers that power the Taptic Engine in the iPhone. HPMS is an acronym for “high-performance mixed signal.”
Although “next year” is a broad timeframe, the earnings call focused on the “back half of next year.” This is significant because it corresponds with Apple’s customary September release date for iPhones, and that is the time frame for the iPhone 15 family’s introduction.
The analysts at Barclays, Blayne Curtis and Tom O’Malley, have seized onto these two pieces of information. The experts come to the conclusion that this component will probably be included in the Taptic Engines on the iPhone 15 Pro haptic buttons despite the fact that “the firm hasn’t stated anything here.”
The elimination of the buttons, which would need new drivers for the haptics engine, is the biggest change in the next iPhone models, according to the experts, making it the most plausible use case for fresh content.
The benefit of haptics
Although I personally love the tactile clickiness of physical buttons, there are definitely a few benefits to completely adopting haptics. A gadget with fewer moving components will endure less wear and tear and, more significantly, will be less sensitive to water damage since there will be fewer weak points.
However, if Apple is just taking this into consideration for the iPhone 15 Pro, as both this article and that of Ming-Chi Kuo imply, then we can probably think of it more in terms of aesthetics. I believe haptic buttons will be a comparable means of displaying ownership of the more desired iPhone 15 Pro. Dynamic Island, an iPhone 14 Pro unique feature, is attractive but doesn’t give many useful benefits.
Not that there won’t be more useful reasons for becoming pro. Other benefits like a quicker CPU, a 120Hz screen, and a better camera system are ones we fully anticipate enduring beyond 2023. But for other people, owning the best iPhone is as much about making a fashion statement as it is about the technical specifications, and haptic buttons will only serve to accentuate that statement.