iPhone 15 Pro renders tease a design that will apparently never be [Update]

iPhone 15 Pro Max
(Image credit: Ice Universe / Twitter)

The iPhone 15 Pro rumors giveth, the iPhone 15 Pro rumors taketh away.

Earlier, some new renders emerged that gave us a better idea of how redesigned volume and mute buttons might look on Apple's upcoming Pro models. However, a subsequent update to the original report now claims that Apple is backing away from switching to a lone volume button. Instead, the iPhone 15 will reportedly feature two volume buttons just like the iPhone 14 Pro.

The original renders published by MacRumors were based on information provided by a leaker posting under the name Unknownz21 at Twitter. They show off an iPhone 15 Pro design with a single volume button stretching down the left side of the phone. Just above that volume control is another button that would silence your phone.

A glance at the current iPhone design reveals what a departure that would have been. Current models use separate buttons to raise and lower the volume instead of a single elongated control. And iPhones currently use a switch, not a button to mute the phone.

Interestingly, the MacRumors renders of the iPhone 15 Pro depicted a thin line halfway down the volume button. Presumably, that's there to give users both a visual and physical cue as to which side of the volume rocker will raise or lower audio.

iPhone 15 Pro renders show off rumored volume button design

(Image credit: MacRumors/@Unknownz21)

Unfortunately, it seems like the above render will be the only place we seen an iPhone 15 Pro with a unified volume button. The original MacRumors report now says that Apple is sticking with the current volume button design, though it is planning on switching to a button for muting the phone.

It's a time of upheaval for rumors about iPhone 15 Pro buttons, as some analysts have cast doubt on whether the new phone will feature solid-state buttons, as had been rumored. A report from the usually reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says it's not going to happen for the iPhone 15 Pro, and another analyst, Jeff Pu, echoes those claims. The suggestion is that the new design is too complex and requires more haptic engines, which means Apple might not be ready to include it on an iPhone until 2024.

Another leaker doesn't buy that. As spotted by WccfTech, a tweet from someone calling themselves analyst941 insists we're getting solid-state buttons this year. "The iPhone 15 Pro’s [sic] will still have capacitive touch buttons, contrary to rumors, the development team is working too closely with new hardware to turn back now," the leaker tweeted. "The components are ready and it’s too late for that nonsense."

Personally, I'm a lot more interested in another part of the MacRumors report which contends the sides of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max as well as those buttons will be made from titanium. That's the same material Apple uses on the Apple Watch Ultra and it should be more durable than the stainless steel that's included in Apple's current Pro phones.

All of this sounds like it's part of Apple's effort to make the iPhone 15 Pro models stand out from the rest of the iPhone 15 lineup. We're already expecting those phones to get a more powerful A17 Bionic chipset while the iPhone 15 Pro Max may feature a periscope-style telephoto lens for improved zoom capabilities.

Our iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro comparison details the many rumored ways that the Pro models might differ from the standard iPhone when the new devices ship later this year.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.