A new iPhone 15 Pro leak appears to have revealed that Apple is indeed planning to drop the mute switch after sixteen years, eschewing a design feature Apple has kept on the iPhone since its very first release in 2007.
Images shared by reputable leaker ShrimpApplePro on Twitter, which appear to be taken from Douyin, reveal CAD designs of Apple's next best iPhone that we've previously seen before. However, those images did not include the mute and volume buttons, leaving their design as something of a mystery.
This new set of renders appears to show that Apple will instead offer a mute "button" rather than a switch for the iPhone 15 Pro, and a unified volume rocker rather than two separate buttons. If that's not your cup of tea, images of the base model reveal that will keep the old mute switch and split button design.
iPhone 15 Pro mute switch
Base model seems to still have the old mute switch pic.twitter.com/Es9MntoXjhMarch 20, 2023
Apple's iPhone 15 Pro is expected to be another exciting upgrade when it's released alongside the iPhone 15 later this year. Other rumored upgrades include a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, a Titanium chassis, a rounder design, and a new A17 Bionic chip built on the 3nm process for hefty performance gains.
Getting rid of the mute switch is a bold design decision from Apple and one that could split opinions. Apple has included a mute switch on every iPhone since the first generation was unveiled in 2007. It's clicky, tactile feel is a great way to ensure you know your phone is muted, showing a sliver of orange for visual confirmation. Combining the volume buttons is less controversial, but it's unclear what advantages this could offer. Rumors are the buttons could be "taptic" buttons driven by motors rather than mechanical ones, which would reduce the possibility of water ingress.