The upcoming iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models are reportedly set to feature a new ultra-low energy microprocessor that will enable certain features to remain functional even when the handset is powered off or the battery has run out.
The source claims that the new chip will replace Apple’s current super-low energy mode and enable the new capacitive solid-state buttons to function even in low-power scenarios.
Leaked details suggest iPhone 15 Pro models may function even when powered off
According to a source on the MacRumors forums, who has been reliable in the past with leaks about the Dynamic Island feature of the iPhone 14 Pro, claims that the new microprocessor will take over existing Bluetooth LE/Ultra Wideband functions and power the solid-state buttons, including an “action” button that replaces the mute switch, even when the phone is off or the battery is depleted.
The microprocessor will immediately sense capacitive button presses, holds, and even detect their own version of 3D Touch with the new volume up/down button, action button, and power button.
The new low-energy capacitive features are currently being tested with and without Taptic Engine feedback while powered off, but not while the battery is dead. However, it is uncertain whether this feature will make it to production.
The source claims that their “man inside” Apple has seen two functional versions of the rumored new unified volume button in testing, including one where the volume goes up/down faster depending on the amount of force used when pressed, and another where the volume can be adjusted by swiping up and down on the button with a finger. It is unclear which method will be adopted for the final release.
The source also claims that the solid-state capacitive buttons are expected to be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro models, with the standard iPhone 15 models retaining the same traditional button mechanism as on the iPhone 14 series. The iPhone 15 Pro is also rumored to be gaining a software-customizable button in lieu of the mute switch, with a unified volume button or “rocker” replacing the separate up/down volume buttons.
It should be noted that the source of this rumor is anonymous and that their inside source is the Apple development team, so they do not have additional information about the design of the new models unless the physical features require software development to complement them. However, given the source’s past reliability, there is good reason to believe that this information is accurate.