The iPhone 16 might have a mysterious new button

iPhone 15
The iPhone 15 (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Apple introduced a new button to its iPhone line with the Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, but surprisingly, the company could have even more buttons planned, with another new button reportedly set for inclusion on every iPhone 16 model.

This comes from leaker Instant Digital, who posted the tip on Weibo (via MacRumors), and while we’d take the claim with a pinch of salt – especially as it’s so early for iPhone 16 rumors – they’ve accurately leaked Apple information in the past.

However, this button is a bit of a mystery, because while Instant Digital says there’s a “great chance” that every iPhone 16 model will have it – meaning the iPhone 16, the iPhone 16 Plus, the iPhone 16 Pro, and the iPhone 16 Pro Max – they don’t say what it will do.

Tweaks to the design

What Instant Digital does say is that apparently the mmWave antenna will be moved to the left edge of these phones, so that there’s space on the right edge for this new button.

They also say that changes are coming to the Action button, which will apparently switch to a solid-state design, meaning it would sit flush with the side of the phone and wouldn’t move when pressed, instead delivering haptic feedback (vibrations). The power and volume buttons will supposedly remain as they are now, though.

We’ve heard much of this before, with an earlier iPhone 16 leak also mentioning this mysterious new button, and saying that this too would be solid-state. That leak further stated that the new button is known internally as the ‘Capture’ button, which suggests it might have something to do with the camera – perhaps it’s for taking photos.

It seems odd, though, that Apple would add new buttons to the iPhone two years in a row, especially when the Action button is customizable, so it can already be used for a lot of different things.

So, we’re not at all sure about this, and we probably won’t find out Apple’s plans until September of 2024, as that’s when the iPhone 16 line is expected to release.

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James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.