iPhone 16 Lineup Could Sport Capacitive Buttons as Apple Orders Components From Taiwanese Supplier: Report

iPhone 16 could arrive later this year with capacitive buttons instead of physical buttons on either side of the handset, according to a Taiwanese news publication. The United Daily News reports that Apple could equip the purported iPhone 16 series with buttons that are capable of providing haptic feedback when touched, emulating the feeling of pressing a physical button. The company was previously rumoured to equip the iPhone 15 lineup with capacitive buttons, but reportedly abandoned the plans last year.

According to the report (in Chinese), Apple has ordered capacitive button components from Taiwan-based supplier Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE). The company reportedly plans to replace the physical volume and power buttons on the iPhone 15, with a new set of capacitive buttons that respond to touch with haptic feedback, that could arrive with the iPhone 16 series.

If the claims in the report are true, Apple could equip the iPhone 16 series with a system in package (SiP) module along with capacitive buttons that are paired with two Taptic (haptic) engine motors. These will allow the iPhone to emulate the feeling of pressing a physical button, as per the report.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time that Apple has been tipped to launch an iPhone equipped with capacitive buttons. The firm was reportedly planning on launching the current-generation iPhone 15 lineup with the advanced buttons, but the handset arrived with mechanical buttons instead.

Last year, Apple introduced the Action button — a programmable button that replaced the mute switch on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. That button is expected to make its way to the non-Pro models this year, while Apple is also rumoured to introduce a new ‘Capture’ button centred around the phone’s camera.

As per the report, Apple wants the Taiwanese supplier to produce these components in Q3 2024, while Cupertino company is expected to launch its iPhone 16 series in the third quarter of this year, The company could instead postpone the inclusion of capacitive buttons to the iPhone 17 series, which is expected to arrive in 2025. 

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