iPhone 15 Pro Cases: Action Button Design Flaw

Bellroy case
Image: Bellroy

If you're considering buying a new iPhone 15, you're probably also thinking about getting a protective case for it. However, there's a caveat you should be aware of. Apple's decision to replace the traditional mute switch with an Action button in the iPhone 15 series has taken some third-party case makers by surprise.

Identifying the Problem

Users have discovered a design flaw in certain third-party iPhone 15 Pro series cases available on the market. This issue stems from Apple's decision to transform the familiar mute switch into the new Action button. Despite rumors circulating for months that Apple was planning this change, it appears that many case manufacturers were unprepared for the shift.

For instance, the iPhone 15 Pro Max case from the well-regarded case maker Bellroy, which has previously partnered with Google, features a cutout that seems designed for the old mute switch. However, the presence of a leather lip around the cutout impedes the easy activation of the new Action button with a simple press.

Apple's Standard Practice

Apple typically provides established case makers with advanced information about the dimensions and specifications of its upcoming iPhone models. This is usually done under a nondisclosure agreement to ensure that cases are available when the new iPhones are released. However, in this particular instance, Apple seems to have omitted a crucial detail from its communication with case makers.

Apple did not reveal to these manufacturers that the mute switch was being replaced by a button, similar to the volume-up and volume-down buttons, upon which the new Action button now rests. Considering that this was a significant feature change, it's somewhat understandable that Apple kept this revelation under wraps. However, it appears that many case makers were unwilling to gamble on unsubstantiated rumors.

In the image above, you can see a new official Apple iPhone 15 Plus case with the traditional mute switch cutout. In contrast, the new official Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max case features a button on the side of the case, similar in style to the volume-up and volume-down buttons. This design choice makes it easy to activate the new Action button in the iPhone 15 Pro series.

The design issue identified with the Bellroy case has also been observed in other third-party iPhone 15 Pro series cases, including those from prolific case maker Cygnett. It appears that they too were caught off guard by the rumored name change from "Pro Max" to "Ultra," which accompanies the introduction of the Action button.

Quality Concerns

While Apple's official iPhone 15 Pro series cases are guaranteed to work seamlessly with the new Action button, some users have expressed concerns about the quality of certain third-party cases, such as the new FineWoven case.

Our advice to users is to carefully inspect any case for Action button compatibility before purchasing. Don't assume that any case labeled as compatible with the new iPhone 15 Pro series will function flawlessly with the Action button.


As you prepare to protect your new iPhone 15 Pro series device with a case, be mindful of the design changes Apple has introduced. While Apple's official cases are designed to work seamlessly with the new Action button, some third-party cases may have compatibility issues. Stay informed and choose your case wisely to ensure a smooth user experience with your new iPhone 15.

Related Articles:

    Comment ()