Apple vendor Cirrus Logic may have vaguely hinted that iPhone 15 Pro models will get haptic 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 plans to “bring a new HPMS component to the smartphone market next year” . HPMS refers to Cirrus Logic’s high-performance mixed-signal chips, which include haptic drivers for the Taptic Engine in iPhones.
On a earnings call with analysts this month, Cirrus Logic CEO John Forsyth cut the time-to-market for this new component to “the second half of next year,” which would align with models from iPhone 15 Pro launching next September.
In an investor note last week, Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O’Malley said the new component mentioned by Cirrus Logic will most likely be part of additional Taptic engines for haptic buttons on iPhone models. 15 Pro:
The biggest change in 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 realm. When looking at potential use cases, the biggest change in new iPhone models next year is the removal of buttons, which would require additional drivers for the haptic engine, which makes it most likely use case for new content.
In October, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the iPhone 15 Pro models feature solid-state volume and power buttons. Kuo said the devices will feature two additional Taptic Motors that provide haptic feedback to simulate the feel of pressing buttons, without them physically moving, like the Home button on recent iPhone SE models or the Force Touch trackpad on newer MacBooks.
Haptic buttons on iPhones could 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 should still have mechanical buttons.
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