Apple’s next-generation Apple Watch smartwatch could come with solid-state buttons instead of the clickable ones found on its predecessors. The upcoming device could also feature haptic feedback for the new buttons. 

A source familiar with Apple’s plans recently disclosed to Fast Company the major hardware change that could happen to the Apple Watch 4. According to the source, Apple is ditching the clickable buttons found in previous watchOS devices this year. 

The Cupertino giant is allegedly working on a solid-state solution for the next Apple Watch buttons. Such solution involves incorporating the button and digital crown of the device into its body. This way neither of the two will be physically clickable. 

The new buttons will reportedly rely on Apple’s haptic effect technology, called Taptic Engine, to provide feedback to users’ touch. So instead of moving up and down, the buttons will simply vibrate under the fingertip. 

The switch to solid-state buttons will reportedly make the new Apple Watch device more water resistant. Moreover, solid-state buttons will take up less space in the hardware, allowing Apple to include a bigger battery. 

It wouldn’t be surprising if Apple’s next Apple Watch would really come with these changes. Patently Apple found patents pertaining to similar hardware changes back in March. 

In addition, this wouldn’t be the first time that Apple is switching to solid-state buttons for its products. Its home button for iPhones saw that change in 2016. In some areas, its MacBooks have also embraced solid-state technology instead of moving parts. 

Sources said the Apple Watch with solid-state buttons could arrive either this fall or next year. If it’s the former, then it’s the Series 4 smartwatch that could usher this change. Apple hasn’t confirmed anything though, so it’s best to take everything with a grain of salt for now. 

Apple Watch The next-generation Apple Watch could come with solid-state buttons. Photo: Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage