If you want to know the shape of future iPhones, it helps if you can get your hands on the CAD models that Apple's partners use to make accessories such as cases. And there's a long tradition of CAD models leaking from firms who aren't quite so good at keeping secrets as the Apple mothership is. It looks like we may have another such leak on our hands, this time for the iPhone 15 Pro.
It wouldn't be a leak if it didn't come via a circuitous route, and this particular one started off as a video shared to the Chinese TikTok-style service Douyin.com. The video was then picked up by Twitter leaker ShrimpApplePro, and then reported on by MacRumors. Phew.
If the CAD files the video is based on are real, then we're looking at the design of what's likely to be Apple's best iPhone for most people. So what's new?
Little changes that could make a big difference
The iPhone 14 Pro I've got right here has separate up and down volume buttons and a flickable switch for mute mode. In these CAD renders, however, the two volumes have been replaced with a single long button, most likely the rumoured solid state button rather than a rocker switch, and a mute button rather than a switch. That too is believed to be a solid state control. The proportions and location appear to be very similar to the current model.
Although the solid state buttons won't move, they'll apparently feel like it: rumours have previously suggested that Apple will use haptic feedback in much the same way it does in MacBook trackpads and the iPhone SE's home button so you'll know when your press has been detected.
This appears to be another example of Apple taking a different design for its pro models, with the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus expected to retain the current style of buttons. That's certainly what other renders from the same CAD image dump show. The renders also seem to back up reports that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will get the same Dynamic Island that's currently only available on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The next iPhone is still many months away – if Apple sticks to its usual timetable we're talking September – but this isn't particularly early for CAD images to leak; Apple's partners need to know what they're making with plenty of advance warning so they can have their products manufactured in time.