Apple supplier Cirrus Logic may have vaguely hinted that iPhone 15 Pro models will get tactile buttons next year, according to research firm Barclays.


In a letter to shareholders this month, 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 stands for Cirrus Logic’s High-Performance Mixed Signal Chips, which include haptic drivers for the Taptic Engine in iPhones.

On an earnings call with analysts this month, Cirrus Logic CEO John Forsyth narrowed the time frame for this new component to hit the market to “the back half of next year,” which would correspond to iPhone 15 Pro models launching in September. next.

In a note to investors last week, Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O’Malley said that the new component mentioned by Cirrus Logic will likely be part of additional Taptic Engines for the tactile buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro models:

The biggest change to our mindset here is the new $1 content design on 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 business. When looking at potential use cases, the biggest change for next year’s new iPhone models is the removal of the buttons, which requires additional drivers for the touch engine, making it the most likely use case for the new content.

In October, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the iPhone 15 Pro models will feature solid-state volume and power buttons. Kuo said the devices will be equipped with two additional Taptic Engines that provide haptic feedback to simulate the feeling of pressing buttons, without physically moving them, similar to the Home button on recent iPhone SE models or the Force Touch trackpad on newer MacBooks.

Tactile buttons on iPhones can allow for better water resistance and eliminate moving parts that can wear out or break over time. However, the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus devices are still expected to have mechanical buttons.

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