Click no more? iPhone 16 is rumored to have no physical buttons

Click no more? iPhone 16 is rumored to have no physical buttons
(Image credit: Future)

After years of rumors and speculation, it seems Apple might finally be ditching those clicky buttons for a sleeker, more modern approach. The iPhone 16 could be the turning point, ushering in an era of capacitive buttons (touch-sensitive and responsive displays) across the board.

Remember the "will they, won't they" saga with the iPhone 15 Pro? Capacitive buttons were all but confirmed, then vanished at the last minute. Well, this time might be different. Leaks suggest all four iPhone 16 models – yes, all four – could ditch the physical buttons entirely in favor of a capacitive interface.

This info comes from a Chinese outlet, but Apple enthusiast site AppleInsider adds some key details. Apple's internal codename for this capacitive overhaul is reportedly "Project Bongo." Previously, they used "Project Atlas" for a single, capacitive "Action" button. This shift to "Bongo" hints at a full-on commitment to solid-state buttons.

How touch capacity works

Projected capacitive touchscreens work by sensing changes in capacitance. When you touch the screen, your finger alters the electrical field, and the system detects this change to pinpoint your touch location. This allows for multi-touch gestures and a more responsive user experience.

Will there be a launch delay?

Now, a pinch of salt is always wise with rumors. The report mentions heavy production ramping up in Q3, which wouldn't quite align with a September launch for iPhone 16 (typically the start of Q4). This could be a miscommunication, or perhaps it only applies to a specific capacitive component, like the mysterious "Capture" button rumored for iPhone 16.

So, will every single button be a futuristic touch affair? The jury's still out. But one thing's for sure: the iPhone 16 will see some form of capacitive buttons. And for Apple, that's a significant shift, finally embracing a design change many fans have been waiting for.

One last exciting rumor 

The iPhone 16 is said to pack two Taptic Engine motors, delivering those satisfying vibrations when you press a capacitive button. Think of the iPhone SE's (2022) Home button or the smooth trackpads on MacBooks. Previous whispers suggested just one motor, but regardless of the number, it seems that familiar, reassuring feeling when you interact with your iPhone won't be going anywhere.

For more news, rumors, and updates on everything iPhone related, and all things tech, follow Laptop Mag on XFacebook, and Flipboard for the latest word as it arrives.

Mark Anthony Ramirez

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.