Apple Tweaks iPhone 16 Pro Action Button Design as Early Development Continues

Recent iPhone 16 Pro prototypes seen by MacRumors indicate that Apple has again tweaked the design of the Action button, and now it looks much like the Action button found on the iPhone 15 Pro. Apple has been toying with the size and design of the Action button for the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌, but in the latest "Proto2" development stage, the company is sticking with a tried and true design.

iPhone 16 Pro Left Side Feature
During the different ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ development stages, Apple has tested four button configurations and two sizes for the Action button.

  • Unified volume button with small Action button
  • Unified volume button with large Action button and new Capture button
  • Separate volume buttons with large Action button and Capture button flush with frame
  • Separate volume buttons with small Action button and Capture button flush with frame (current)

The earliest known prototypes of the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ had a unified volume button and small multi-purpose Action button, both on the left side, with a power button on the right. This design was initially developed as part of Project Bongo, which was an attempt to bring haptic buttons the ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌. While the project was ultimately canceled due to unsatisfactory test results and high hardware failure rates, parts of the Bongo design, namely the unified volume button, found their way onto early designs of the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌.

The second prototype variant of the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ also used a unified volume button, but it had a larger Action button that was close in size to the volume buttons. This prototype also had an additional "Capture button" on the right side below the power button.

iPhone 16 Side 2 Feature
Later prototypes (pictured above) featured separate volume buttons rather than the unified button design. With these more recent units, Apple planned to include a capacitive Action button and Capture button, both of which were flush with the frame and featured force sensor technology.

With the most recent "Proto2" design, Apple has once again changed the Action button. Apple has now adopted a smaller Action button that mirrors the Action button on the ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌, doing away with the larger, flush look. While it is currently unclear how this affects the future of Apple's work on a capacitive Action button, a design change as significant as this indicates it has been canceled or postponed for future iPhone iterations.

Although the information presented here accurately describes existing internal designs, it is important to note that additional design changes are always possible, and the information presented here may not reflect finalized design of the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌.

For additional information on what to expect from the 2024 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, check out our dedicated rumor roundups for iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro.

Related Roundup: iPhone 16 Pro

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Top Rated Comments

macjonny1 Avatar
20 weeks ago
Getting harder and harder to get excited about any updates for years to be honest.
Score: 59 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scrapesleon Avatar
20 weeks ago
spending too much time on a simple button there are more important issue at hand lol
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mgz Avatar
20 weeks ago
Jesus, who gives AF how "Exciting" the design is? This is a device I use all day every day, I don't need the design to be "exciting" I need it to steadily improve and gain new functionality that is just as easy to use.

And yeah dude I think Apple is capable of working on more than button designs. Perhaps most of their work is going on in the INSIDE of the device?
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DCstewieG Avatar
20 weeks ago

I wish my iphone 12 pro max battery would last, i guess i will be forced to update.

Maybe....replace the battery?
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TruthAboveAllElse Avatar
20 weeks ago
I will not buy a new iPhone so long as the design is basically the same as the iPhone 12.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RacMumors- Avatar
20 weeks ago
I'm not a fan of the current action button design/location.

The amount of times I've reached into my pocket to increase the volume on something and hit the action button by accident. The buttons are too close to each other and similar in shape.

Could they redesign the button? Move it to the other side? I dont know but the way it is now, doesnt work.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)