Apple's iPhone 15 Pro could get a new design for its volume and mute buttons, and many folks aren't happy about it - though we should bear in mind, this is just a rumor at this stage.
The speculation comes from ShrimpApplePro on Twitter, a solid Apple source who has been right in the past (although the leaked CAD images of the purported new button design originate from the Chinese equivalent of TikTok).
Apple is apparently changing the iPhone 15 Pro's buttons (and Pro Max - but not the base iPhone 15 or Plus model) so they aren't physically pressed in any longer. Rather, they'll be flat and use haptic feedback (with two Taptic Engines inside the smartphone) to simulate the feeling of pressing the buttons.
The volume controls are set to be changed from two separate buttons to one long strip that you can press at either end to increase or decrease the volume, and the mute switch will be turned into a haptic button.
None of these ideas are hugely popular with the iPhone community, something we've seen when this rumor reared its head previously. (And yes, the fact that we're now hearing this repeatedly on the grapevine does make it seem more likely that this is the direction Apple is heading in - though we must be cautious about jumping to conclusions).
There's a feeling that these are design moves made just for the sake of changing things, and folks are asking what's the point with the new buttons? A sleeker-looking iPhone 15 Pro, perhaps, and a phone chassis with better waterproofing capability maybe, though the latter is a niche benefit.
What a lot of folks aren't happy about is the possibility of the mute switch being ditched. That's because the switch provides a physical way to see (or feel) if the phone is muted (even if it's in your pocket, say), which can be very handy.
There are also concerns that with the new strip design, it could be easier to accidentally brush the volume controls and accidentally crank up the loudness when you're holding the iPhone to watch a movie, for example.
All in all, if Apple is monitoring feedback on this possible design change, the company may just be getting some rather chilly feet - although odds are the iPhone 15 Pro is already too far down this particular avenue to switch course, if this change is indeed inbound. We're likely looking at a September launch for the next-gen iPhone, which is only six months away now.
Other iPhone 15 Pro rumors claim that it could be a lot faster than its predecessor, but on the other hand, the smartphone may also be more expensive. The latter wouldn't be a surprise if the theorized big upgrades are incoming for the iPhone 15 Pro - including a much better display with super-slim bezels - particularly when you consider that Apple hasn't upped the price of its top-end handsets in a long time (at least not in the US). Furthermore, with inflation being the way it is, a price hike is seemingly even more likely to be in the cards.