Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has hinted that we may see haptic buttons on next year’s iPhone 15 Pro models, says research firm Barclays.
As reported by MacRumors, the Texas-based semiconductor company said it continues to “engage with a strategic customer” and expects to “bring a new HPMS component to market in smartphones next year.” HPMS refers to Cirrus Logic’s high-performance mixed-signal chips, which include haptic drivers for the Taptic Engine in iPhones. the comments came in a letter to shareholders this month
In addition, Cirrus Logic CEO John Forsyth on a recent earnings call narrowed down the timeframe for this new component coming to market to the “back half of next year,” which would line up with iPhone 15 Pro models launching next September.
Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O’Malley said the new component that Cirrus Logic mentioned will most likely be part of additional Taptic Engines for the haptic buttons on iPhone 15 Pro models:
The biggest change to our thinking here is to model $1 of new content in the IP15 Pro models. To be clear, the company hasn’t said much here other than that the chip is mixed signal and not in the power domain. When looking at potential use cases, the largest change in new iPhone models next year is the removal of the buttons, which would require additional drivers for the haptics engine, making it the most likely use case for new content.
Kup says the volume and power buttons on next year’s two high-end iPhone models may adopt a solid-state design, similar to the iPhone 7’s home button. The new solid-state buttons would replace the current mechanical button design. The new buttons would likely use a method similar to Apple’s Mac trackpads, which mimic the physical feeling of being pressed with small vibrations.
Kuo believes the new iPhones will reportedly increase the number of Taptic Engines in each iPhone from one to three, adding them on the internal left and right sides to provide feedback to users, making it seem as though they are pressing physical buttons.
The standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are still expected to have mechanical buttons.