We have only been with the new iPhone 14 for a month and we are already beginning to learn details about next year’s model, which could come without physical volume and power buttons.
Ming Chi Kuo has said it, and it is not a leak from Apple, but an estimate of it based on the data it obtains from different Apple suppliers. The iPhone could replace the physical power and volume buttons with “solid” buttons, akin to the iPhone 7’s home button, which looked like it clicked but wasn’t really a mechanical button. To do this, as in the mentioned start button, two «Taptic Engine» would be placed that would simulate the click of the button to know when we press, one on the side of the home buttons and one on the side of the power button. This would only be included in the Pro models, making a difference with the cheaper models.
Perhaps this novelty can come from the hand of new functions for the buttons, because thanks to this technology not only can the click be similar, but also the pressure with which you press and the duration of the press can be known, and through software different functions could be established for each type of pulsation, similar to what happens with the AirPods Pro. Volume up and down by sliding? Activate silence by pressing and holding for a few seconds? In this way, the mute switch could even be dispensed with and thus make a phone without any mechanical parts, something essential to improve its durability as well as other properties such as water resistance.
The problem now remains on the roof of the case manufacturers, who will have to find a way to leave the buttons free, everything a design challenge that Apple itself will have to face with its official covers. All this as long as Kuo’s estimate ends up being fulfilled, of course.