iPhone 15 Pro Will Not Have Mute Switch, Reports Suggest
The iPhone 15 Pro will reportedly not have a mute switch, losing a feature that has persisted since the original iPhone, with the device set to move a static mute button instead.
Last year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the volume and power buttons on this year's two high-end iPhone models will adopt a solid-state design, similar to the iPhone 7's home button, replacing a mechanical button design that physically depresses. This has gone on to be corroborated by a range of other reports in recent months.
Apple uses a similar method for its Mac trackpads, which do not physically move and simply mimic the feeling of being pressed with small vibrations. The new iPhones will reportedly contain additional Taptic Engines on the internal left and right sides to provide physical feedback to users, making it feel as though they are pressing real buttons. The change means that the number of Taptic Engines in each iPhone will increase from one to three.
Most recently, it was rumored that in addition to losing physical volume and side buttons, the iPhone 15 Pro will no longer have a mute switch. The switch, which has been present since the original iPhone in 2007, is expected to become a haptic button that can be pressed to turn the iPhone's ringer on or off. The latest CAD renders seemingly confirm this change, showing a unified volume button and a mute button.
Moving to a mute button instead of a switch could enable silent mode to be enabled via a Control Center toggle similar to the iPad, as well as Shortcuts automations, but there is also scope for even greater functionality such as integration with Focus modes.
It is as yet unclear how the new haptic buttons will work through cases, especially if they require direct touch contact. Likewise, there will need to be solutions to accommodate device recovery in situations the iPhone may not be working as expected. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are expected to stick with traditional clickable buttons and the mute switch, so it seems likely that Apple will have to tout some kind of meaningful improvement or new functionality to successfully upsell customers to the buttonless design.