Based on sources active in the supply chain, Ming-Chi Kuo wrote on Twitter that the iPhone 15 and Pro models are expected to switch to fixed-position buttons. Apple has already done something similar with the main button of the iPhone 7, 8 and SE models, and we have already seen such an attempt by HTC in the U12+ mobile. Instead of a button performing physical movement, there is only a touch and pressure-sensitive surface in the mentioned devices, and a vibration motor sends (haptic) feedback and tries to make the user believe that he has actually pressed something. Apple also uses this technology in its laptops.
Those buttons are stiff, with pressure sensing and haptic feedback [+]
According to Kuo, the iPhone 15 Pro would replace both the power button and the volume button with an extra Taptic Engine vibration motor on the right side. The reason behind this may be the same as the one used by Apple to explain the omission of the 3.5 mm jack connector and the SIM tray in American phones: it can make the phone’s housing more waterproof, because there are fewer places where water can get in. Presumably, at the same time, it will be easier for the design engineers to solve the insulation. According to Kuo, Luxshare ICT and AAC Technologies could be big winners of the move, as they currently manufacture and supply Taptic Engines to Apple.
According to the analyst, high-end Android phones may also follow Apple in removing moving buttons. In vain that HTC already did it years ago.