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There’s a chance the iPhone 16 may have capacitive buttons. But we’ve heard this before…


TL;DR: iPhone 16 mechanical buttons begone?

  • iPhone 16 buttons: The iPhone 16 series may get capacitive buttons. 📱
  • What is a capacitive button? It’s a button that does not actually move. When pressed, a motor provides haptic feedback to the user. 📲
  • Is capacitive better than mechanical? Capacitive buttons are generally thought to be more durable because they don’t move. 💪
  • When will the iPhone 16 be released? It is expected to be released in September 2024. 📆


The entire iPhone 16 series may be getting a button overhaul. And no, we’re not only talking about the Action Button being added to the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus. A new report says that the iPhone 16 series will ditch mechanical buttons for capacitive buttons.

As the Economic Daily News reports (machine translated from Chinese):

“Sun Moonlight Investment Control (3711) won Apple’s new order again, and exclusively won Apple’s new design this year for both sides of the new body of the iPhone 16 series, replacing the existing physical buttons of the capacitor key system-level package (SiP) module….It is reported that one of the highlights of the new iPhone 16 series this year is to cancel the physical volume buttons and power buttons on both sides of the fuselage and replace them with capacitive touch buttons. In addition, in order to strengthen the user experience, two Taptic Engine motors will be added to allow users to have a vibration feedback when pressing the button, reaching the goal of the physical button disappearing on the iPhone’s external body.”

Economic Daily News (machine translated)

Capacitive buttons do not actually move when pressed Instead, a Tony motor associated with the button vibrates sending haptic feedback to the user’s fingertip, which lets the user know the button has been pressed. This haptic feedback mimics the feel of a mechanical button being pressed to some degree.

Capacitive buttons are generally considered to be more durable than mechanical buttons since they don’t actually move. When a button moves, it is subjected to stress over a long time period, which can lead to breakdown and wear and tear. However since capacitive buttons do not move, they generally last much longer than mechanical buttons.

Of course, there are users who prefer mechanical buttons because they say they like the physical feedback given when a button is pressed. But if the haptic motor associated with the capacitive button is robust enough, the feedback should be just as strong between a capacitive button and a mechanical button.

The report says that both the power and the volume buttons may get the capacitive treatment this year for the entire iPhone 16 lineup. However, this report should be taken with some caution. That’s because last year the iPhone 15 series was also rumored to ditch mechanical buttons for capacitive ones, but Apple reportedly delayed the switch due to quality issues with the buttons.

What this means is that the report that the iPhone 16 series will gain capacitive buttons this year can’t be taken as a given. Apple may indeed be planning to add capacitive buttons to the iPhone 16 series, but it’s always possible the tech could be delayed again before the September 2024 launch.

The iPhone 16 series is also rumored to gain other hardware changes, including 256GB of bae storage on the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max as well as a new camera coating on those models. The entire iPhone 16 series is also expected to see slight display size increases.

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