It’s just a matter of hours before Apple’s ‘Wonderlust’ event, scheduled for today at 10 am local time in California. As anticipation reaches fever pitch, one would expect Apple’s infamous secrecy to be locked in a vault. However, case manufacturer Spigen decided to toss a wrench into the machine by giving fans a glimpse of the new iPhone 15 Pro feature: the Action Button.
— Spigen (@SpigenWorld) September 11, 2023
Breaking Conventions with a Button
Spigen’s not-so-subtle leak showed off the controversial feature that’s set to replace the familiar mute button. The Action Button is fully configurable, a sharp break from Apple’s long-standing policy of tight control over hardware and software.
Apple has always had a minimalist approach to smartphone design, exemplified by their almost philosophical aversion to buttons. Jony Ive, Apple’s former Chief Design Officer, once said, “Simplicity is not the absence of clutter; it’s the absence of confusion.” Adding a button, and letting users decide what it does, might seem like it flies in the face of this design ethos.
A New Era of User Control?
Apple’s decision to introduce the Action Button is fascinating because the company has typically maintained a hands-on—or should we say, hands-off—approach to user customization. iOS has traditionally been more of a “walled garden” compared to the open meadows of Android. But now, by allowing users to customize the Action Button, it seems that the walled garden has a new gate, and it’s letting people in.
The Action Button feature will reportedly be limited to iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models, perhaps in an effort to distinguish the Pro line from the standard variants. It’s a selective invitation, but an invitation nonetheless.
The Thin, the Light, and the Pricey
Adding to the shockwaves of this leak are other substantial upgrades. The iPhone 15 Pro is expected to be significantly lighter due to a new Grade 5 Titanium midframe. Apple is also pushing forward in display technology with the introduction of LIPO, reducing bezel sizes significantly. These cutting-edge features don’t come without cost implications—the iPhone 15 Pro is slated to start at $1,099, a $100 bump from last year’s model.
The Leak’s Fallout
While Spigen’s leak must be vexing for Apple, it’s not getting taken down anytime soon. This leaves us to ponder on what the Cupertino-based giant really thinks about this early exposure of a feature that, arguably, will stir much debate. The leak confirms what many Apple watchers have suspected: the company is willing to push boundaries—even its own—in the ever-evolving tech landscape.
As the clock ticks down to the ‘Wonderlust’ event, one thing is certain: Apple is, once again, pushing the envelope of smartphone design and technology. The introduction of the Action Button serves as both an anomaly and a revelation. It may not just be a physical feature, but a symbolic gesture indicating a shift in how Apple perceives user interaction. Could this be Apple’s first step in a more ‘configurable’ direction? Only time will tell.