Newly leaked iPhone 15 Pro CADs show good ol’ mechanical buttons

Newly-leaked CAD files have corroborated earlier suspicion that the iPhone 15 Pros will retain mechanical buttons after all while gaining a multi-purpose Action button.

Rendering showing the side views of the iPhone 15 Pro with mechanical power, volume and mute buttons
Rendering based on the latest CAD files | Image: Ian Zelda/9to5Mac
  • CADs confirm that the iPhone 15 Pros won’t have capacitive buttons after all.
  • Expect mechanical Volume Up and Down buttons, like on the current iPhones.
  • The Silent switch, however, should morph into a programable button.

The latest on the iPhone 15 Pro button situation

9to5Mac has obtained detailed CAD files from a “very trusted source” in Apple’s supply chain. The new drawings line up with the recent rumor about the iPhone 15 Pros retaining moving, mechanical buttons after all.

Earlier rumors said the devices would adopt non-moving, touch-sensitive power and volume buttons and a clickable mute button instead of the standard silent switch. Button presses would be simulated via additional Taptic Engines. A dedicated new chip would continue running the buttons even with the battery depleted.

However, Apple apparently scrapped the rumored haptic buttons in favor of the traditional volume buttons due to unforeseen production issues.

The newly obtained CAD files clearly show that the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max should be mechanical.

The CADs clearly show two volume buttons instead of an elongated button acting as a volume rocker. The picture at the top was rendered based on the CADs.

Meet your Action button

Closeup of the iPhone 12 Pro Max mute switched turned on
The mute switch will become a technical button | Image: TheRegisti/Unsplash

The CADs also corroborate the ring/silent switch situation. The mute switch should indeed become a clickable button with different functions assigned to it.

Similar to the Apple Watch Ultra’s Action button, it might be pressure-sensitive to provide different functions in apps like Camera, depending on the amount of force applied. Non-Pro models are expected to retain the existing mute switch.

Is Apple trolling us?

Exterior of Apple's glass cube retail store on Manhattan
Apple could be planting misinformation | Image: Apple

The new CADs also confirm other rumored features of the iPhone 15 Pros, like skinnier display bezels, a more prominent camera bump (likely because of a periscope zoom lens), a more rounded frame, and USB-C charging.

Apple provides these CAD files to its select partners to create MFi-certified iPhone accessories in advance. There have been several conflicting rumors about the iPhone 15 Pro buttons—it’s very unusual for Apple to make design changes that late, with mass production about two months away,

The current situation is murky, and there’s no telling who’s right and who’s wrong. Whether this or next year’s iPhones adopt solid-state capacitive buttons is irrelevant from an average user’s perspective—they’ll just press a button, it’ll work as intended, and that’s all they need to know.

Someone on social media has remarked that Apple itself leaked this info to catch the leakers, which could be precisely what’s happening here.