Being a case manufacturer for flagship phones from Apple, Google, Samsung, and others often means sifting through all of the rumors about a phone, and still having to make a bold decision, gambling that your firm’s case will have all of the cutouts in the right spots. As an example of what could happen, there had been rumors for some time that Apple would replace the mute switch on the iPhone 15 Pro models with an Action Button that would allow users to select certain tasks that would take place when the button was pressed.

But for a company named Peak Design that sells iPhone cases, travel bags, photography accessories, and other gear, the gamble they made didn’t work out. Instead of designing a cutout on the top of the volume keys that could accommodate the Action Button, Peak Design kept the cutout designed to work with the Mute Switch. When the Mute Switch is toggled to the left, showing orange, it enables silent mode leaving the phone to vibrate for incoming calls and alerts; toggle it back to the right to turn off silent mode allowing calls and alerts to send audio alerts.

In a post on Reddit, Peter Dering, founder of Peak Design, explained the thought process behind his decision. Dering wrote:

  • we were aware of the rumors of the action button for months.
  • we decided to go with a cutout instead of a button a) because we couldn’t be certain that they would be using the action button, and b) we were hopeful that the cutout would still provide a reasonably good experience.
  • now that we’ve got phones in hand, we’re equally disappointed by the experience of the action button. we just can’t credibly claim that we “make the best case” if we don’t have a button there.

As a result, those with a Peak Design case on their iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have a cutout that has the Action Button well recessed under the lip of the case which means that you have to somehow fit your finger into the cutout deep enough to reach the button.