It will probably be okay if Apple kills iPhone volume buttons
In defence of haptic feedback
Welcome back to Multicore for Tuesday, February 21st.
iPhone 15 rumour season is officially upon us. 9to5Mac posted alleged 3D renders of the iPhone 15 Pro based on a CAD model from what the generally reliable site describes as a "reliable case manufacturer".
They are... not exciting. The frame is slightly more curved, the camera bump is a little thicker, and the charging port appears to make the widely expected (and soon to be European Union-mandated) switch to USB-C.
There is one change that has sparked a degree of consternation in Apple circles, though, and that's the apparent removal of physical volume and power buttons. This was first reported by TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo back in October, and 9to5Mac's renders appear to provide supporting evidence of a new solid-state design.
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It generally does not go down well when Apple removes things. When the iPhone 7 shipped without a 3.5mm headphone port in 2016, alongside the announcement of the first version of AirPods, it was hugely controversial. Conversely, the latest generation of MacBook Pro laptops has been lauded for getting rid of the Touch Bar, also introduced in 2016, and replacing it with a regular function row while adding more physical ports.
To oversimplify several years of rabid online discourse, there's a prevalent narrative that the Apple of the mid-2010s was obsessed with thinness and minimalism at the expense of functionality, and that things have turned around somewhat in recent years. iPhones are thicker now and have great battery life; MacBook Pros have SD card slots and proper Esc keys. Wouldn't removing perfectly normal physical buttons from the iPhone be a step in the wrong direction?
We'll have to wait for the phones to come out, of course, but my guess is no.
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