iPhone 15 haptic button rumour won't go away (but we wish it would)

iPhone 15 rumours continue to come in fast, and some of them are proving to be very divisive. Apple only released the iPhone 14 in September, so we expect it will be another 9 months until we have concrete details about its follow up, but fans already have lists of expected features. 

One of the rumours circulating widely is that the iPhone 15 will introduce haptic buttons. This is, instead of real buttons, it would have haptic touch sensors, which emulate the feel of using real physical buttons by responding to touch through vibration or other methods. But we're really not sure that we can see the point (see our Apple Black Friday roundup if you're looking for any late deals on current Apple gear).

An iPhone concept showing haptic buttons

An iPhone concept showing haptic buttons (Image credit: ConceptsiPhone)

The idea that the iPhone 15 will get solid-state haptics for its power and volume buttons was raised by well-known Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo back in October. The claim now has some more supporting evidence because, as reported by MacRumors, the Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has told its shareholders it's talking with a "strategic customer" about bringing "a new HPMS component to market in smartphones next year." 

MacRumors notes that on an earnings call, Cirrus Logic CEO John Forsyth mentioned a timeframe of the "back half of next year," which would appear to tally with the iPhone's usual September launch date. Cirrus Logic's high-performance mixed-signal chips (HPMS) include haptic drivers for the iPhone Taptic Engine, which we've already seen used on the home button design of iPhone 7, 8 and SE2 to create the sensation of a button press through vibration feedback.

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE has a 'taptic' home button (Image credit: Apple)

That all seems to suggest this might be a real plan. But while haptics (or taptics in Apple-speak) all sound very futuristic, buttons do their job perfectly well. Some fans have welcomed the rumour but others aren't convinced it makes sense, and we can understand why. Tech enthusiast ran a survey on Twitter, and 62 per cent thought the move sounded like a good idea, but a lot of people raised doubts. 

"Buttons should just stay buttons. It doesn’t bring any benefits to make them virtual," one person wrote on Twitter. "So they'll get rid of the buttons and put something that feels like buttons.. why?!," someone else wrote. "Useless. One more thing that could possibly break. And what if you wear gloves? I find clickable buttons much better," was another opinion.

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A purported benefit of haptics is that they prevent the wear and tear that physical buttons can suffer, but we've really never heard anyone complain that the power button or volume buttons on their iPhone have worn out. Others have concerns about how they would be able to restart the phone if the software freezes, and there's also the question of how haptic buttons would work with cases.

This rumour comes on the back of suggestions that the iPhone 15 will have a slightly rounded back. Put those two changes together and we have the most radical design departure for a while. 

Of course, it's too early to know if Apple will really introduce these changes on the iPhone 15 – or on which model. After all, there are rumours that there will be an iPhone 15 Ultra made from titanium. In the meantime, you can find the best prices on Apple's latest range below – and see our pick of the best iPhone 14 cases if you want to use a case on your iPhone while you still can!

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.