Apple iPhone 16: Capacitive Buttons, Camera Upgrades And Every Rumored Feature

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A new rumor has emerged claiming that Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 will ditch physical buttons all round in favor of capacitive ones with haptics for tactile feedback. This change might pave the way for a cleaner look, but also introduce a new Capture button that could be tied directly to the camera or even customized for other purposes. Either way, are you ready for your physical volume and power buttons to go the way of the Dodo?

A Taiwanese financial news outlet dropped an interesting nugget suggesting that Apple could begin using capacitive buttons on the iPhone 16. We reported last year that a solid-state button idea (with revised Taptic Engine) was initially planned for the iPhone 15, but eventually nixed. If the rumor from Taiwan is true, that means Apple engineers were given more time to hash out and refine the concept a little bit more.

What we might see with the iPhone 16 are capacitive buttons replacing the traditional power and volume buttons. Instead of users getting the tactile and sensorial response when physically pressing buttons, the capacitive buttons on the phone will register the pressure and respond with appropriate haptic vibration. Sure, the iPhone 7, 8, 8 Plus and SE had capacitive Touch ID home buttons that felt convincingly like an actual button, but we might need some convincing regarding years and years of familiarity with using something like a physical volume rocker. 

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The news report also says that ASE Investment Holdings—a semiconductor manufacturer, among others—won a large contract to supply Apple with the SiP capacitive and Taptic Engine components. Orders are slated to begin shipping in earnest in the third quarter, which honestly, cuts really close to the expected iPhone 16 release in September. This could point to a possibility that the iPhone 16 might not be completely buttonless, but maybe just the single Capture button as prior rumors seem to strongly suggest. Perhaps the contract is meant in large part for the iPhone 17?

Even as the iPhone 16 release looms month away, reports have predicted that there will be changes aplenty. The Pro models will get 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch displays, a new A18-series SoC, Wi-Fi 7, a vertical camera layout for the regular iPhone 16, mew periscope telephoto camera in the Pro Max, and of course, the new capacitive action or Capture button.