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Apple’s Supplier May Have Leaked Significant Information About The Design Of The iPhone 15 Pro And Ultra

Cirrus Logic is an Apple supplier and a semiconductor designer. In the company’s letter to shareholders, which was distributed earlier this month, the company hinted at one change that we could see with the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra models. Apple would replace the physical power and volume buttons with solid-state buttons under the proposed change. Thanks to haptics powered by three iPhone Taptic Engines, users would still feel as if they pressed a physical button.

So, what did Cirrus Logic say in its letter to stockholders that got everyone so worked up? According to the company, it is still “engaging with a strategic customer” and expects to “bring a new HPMS (high-performance mixed-signal chip) component to market in smartphones next year.” According to MacRumors, among the HPMS that the company creates are haptic drivers for the iPhone’s Taptic Engine.

Cirrus Logic, an Apple supplier, may have accidentally leaked important information about the iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra models

Sure, this isn’t a case of “we caught you red-handed” discussing your company’s contribution to Apple’s new solid-state buttons for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra, but it sounds like it might fit. If that isn’t enough of a hint, Cirrus Logic CEO John Forsyth stated on an earnings call earlier this month that the new component will be available in the “back half of next year.” That timeline would include the standard September release of the premium iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra models in 2023.

Blayne Curtis and Tom O’Malley, analysts at the British bank Barclays, back up this theory. The pair stated that the new component mentioned by Cirrus Logic in its shareholder letter will most likely be part of the additional Taptic Engines required to power the haptics for the solid-state buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra models next year.

According to the analysts at Barclays, “The most significant shift in our thinking here is to include $1 of new content in the IP15 Pro (and Ultra) models. To be clear, the company hasn’t revealed much here other than the fact that the chip is mixed signal and not in the power domain. Looking at potential use cases, the removal of buttons in new iPhone models next year would necessitate additional drivers for the haptics engine, making it the most likely use case for new content.”

Last month, TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the more expensive iPhone 15 Pro (and Ultra) models would have solid-state power and volume buttons, necessitating the use of two additional Taptic Engines. Yes, the new Cirrus Logic HPMS component would be required to power the additional Taptic Engines.

Top analyst Kuo also predicts that the more expensive iPhone models will have solid-state power and volume buttons next year

“My latest survey indicates that the volume button and power button of two high-end iPhone 15/2H23 new iPhone models may adopt a solid-state button design (similar to the home button design of iPhone 7/8/SE2 & 3) to replace the physical/mechanical button design,” Kuo said in a tweet.

So it would appear that the more expensive iPhone 15 Pro models next year should be free of physical buttons that can wear down over time. They may be more touch-sensitive, making it easier to adjust the volume on the handsets. It would also be used to distinguish the non-Pro iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models from the more expensive iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra.

Apple has been attempting to entice more iPhone buyers to spend the extra money on premium models by introducing new features and hardware. However, we anticipate that all four iPhone 15 models will include Dynamic Island next year. This year, only the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have the shape-shifting “notification” feature.

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