iPhone 16: All the rumors so far

 IPhone 15 Pro Max mockup with thin bezels.
IPhone 15 Pro Max mockup with thin bezels.

Latest news

Updated May 17 

• Apple could change two of the color options for the iPhone 16 range
• The iPhone 16 Pro Max's battery could have unique advantages.
• iPhone 16's display could get a 20% boost in brightness
iPhone 16 dummies clad in cases show off some interesting design changes.
iPhone 16 dummies clad in cases show off some interesting design changes.

The iPhone 16 promises a range of upgrades that could improve Apple's flagship while narrowing the gap between the regular iPhone and Pro series.

Thanks to various rumors and alleged leaks, the design and several key features and upgrades for the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max (and possibly an iPhone 16 Ultra too) are already out in the open. Fortunately for users, all models look to be getting something new and interesting to play with, so no matter how much you plan on spending on the next iPhone, it'll feel like a strong upgrade.

Read on for a summary of all the iPhone 16 rumors we've seen so far, focusing on the base and Plus models.

iPhone 16 cheat sheet: Biggest rumors

  • Release date prediction: September 2024

  • Price prediction: from $799

  • Design: 6.1-inch standard and 6.7-inch Plus versions, redesigned camera block, Action button, Capture button

  • Cameras: Spatial video support

  • AI features: Generative AI in several Apple apps, including Photos and Notes

  • Specs: A18 or A17 Pro chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB default storage, Wi-Fi 6E

  • Battery: Larger battery in standard model

  • Software: iOS 18

iPhone 16: Possible price and availability

If Apple keeps to its current schedule, we should see the iPhone 16 series arrive in September 2024. Delays are possible, and have happened a couple of times in the past few years, but Apple never deviated too much.

We have no pricing rumors for the iPhone 16 right now, so all we can assume is that Apple will keep to an $800 price for the entry-level model, with Pro models costing $1,000 - $1,100, and higher storage versions adding a few hundred more onto the price. That said, phone component costs are on the rise, and that could push iPhone 16 prices upward. Just this year, the Galaxy S24 Ultra saw its price rise by $100 over its predecessor to a lofty $1,299, just as an example.

If there is an iPhone 16 Ultra as some people have claimed, we'd have to imagine it would cost even more, perhaps $1,200 or higher.

iPhone 16: Design

A mock-up render of an alleged iPhone 16 Pro prototype featuring a punch hole cutout instead of a Dynamic Island
A mock-up render of an alleged iPhone 16 Pro prototype featuring a punch hole cutout instead of a Dynamic Island

We've heard from Apple supply chain expert Ming-Chi Kuo that no big exterior changes are coming to the iPhone 16 series. But a few small tweaks could still be coming.

iPhone 15 Ultra mock-up
iPhone 15 Ultra mock-up

After the iPhone 15 Pro got a new Action button in 2023, it now seems like all iPhone 16s could get a "Capture button." This has apparently appeared on prototype iPhone 16 units, and sounds like it may be be a camera shutter button with the option to focus shots too. Once again, the new iPhones are not expect to feature a fingerprint sensor.

Another report claims the Action button will come to the standard iPhone — and the iPhone 16 Plus if there is one. This won't be functionally different from what we saw on the iPhone 15 Pro, says one source.

Prototype designs for the iPhone 16 have been posted online, which suggests that we'll get repositioned main cameras. Non-pro iPhone 16 models could be going for a vertical camera layout, which could give them the ability to shoot spatial video. Various mockups, leaked schematics, CAD drawings and dummy units seem to corroborate this change.

iPhone 16 prototypes
iPhone 16 prototypes

When it comes to colors, we may see Apple bring add a new Rose option to the iPhone 16 Pro. What's more, Space Black from the iPhone 14 Pro, and the classic silver option, may be coming back too. As for the basic models, all iPhone 15 colors could be returning in one form or another, along with new white and purple options to give users the widest choice of iPhone colors yet.

it appears that Apple is planning to remove the yellow option for the iPhone  16 and iPhone 16 Plus. A recent post from Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has indicated that the iPhone 16 will come in black, green, pink and white instead. They have also stated that Apple may rename some of the colors, and even similarly named shades could look different to the current models.

Alleged dummy models of the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro Max, within identical cases
Alleged dummy models of the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro Max, within identical cases

iPhone 16: Display

It's rumored that we'll see larger iPhone 16 Pro models this year, with the iPhone 16 Pro apparently measuring 6.3 inches and the iPhone 16 Pro Max 6.9 inches (backed up by a roadmap made by Samsung Securities). CAD designs also show off the Pro Max model's size difference compared to the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman also believes the Pro model will see a boost to its screen size. Gurman's Power On newsletter claims the iPhone 16 Pro models will grow by “a couple tenths of an inch diagonally,” making them the biggest iPhones to date.  Analyst Jeff Pu also reiterated this, predicting a 0.2-inch screen size increase.

The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, however, are said to be sticking with the current 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes, in what would be a small consideration for users who prefer smaller phones. They may also keep the iPhone 15's aging 60Hz refresh rate too, a disappointment considering how most Android phones offer 90Hz or higher for smoother, more efficient scrolling.

One possible upgrade for all models is new thinner bezels around the display. Assuming Apple's manufacturing partners can get their production up to standard in time, it'll make the screens of the new iPhones look even larger.

Unofficial renders of the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max from the front and back
Unofficial renders of the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max from the front and back

The displays on the new phones could use a new OLED material set supplied by Samsung. According to the rumors, the upgraded panel would replace blue fluorescent technology with blue phosphorescence technology — a move that would apparently improve the power efficiency of the iPhone's display.

Beyond getting larger with the rest of the phone, another potential change to the iPhone 16's display is the addition of MicroLED display, for improved brightness and color while using less power. This is a brand-new technology for Apple though, so it's possible we'd have to wait for another year or two after the iPhone 16 if it's not ready in time. If that's the case, then we can presume we'd end up with OLED panels once again, or potentially miniLED, Apple's other display tech found on certain iPads and MacBooks.

iPhone 16: Possible specs

If Apple sticks to its current way of doing things, the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus would inherit the A17 Pro chip we see in the iPhone 15 Pro models. A more promising rumor suggests all iPhone 16 model will run on 3-nanometer A18 chips, with the Pro models set to get more powerful versions of the A18. However, another leak suggests the A18 Pro could fall behind the competition.

It's also been speculated that the A18 may get a larger die area than the A17, which adds room for additional transistors or specialized hardware — which may help power the phone's on-device AI. An upgrade to 8GB of RAM may also help boost these features. However some may still require cloud processing, powered by the M2 Ultra chip.

WiFi 6E support for faster and more reliable home internet speeds is also rumored. Several sources have now claimed this, though more recent rumors suggest Wi-Fi 7 may be on the cards for iPhone 16 Pro models.

Storage will likely start at 128GB for the base, Plus and Pro iPhone 16 models, with the iPhone 16 Pro Max beginning at 256GB like the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple may start offering 256GB by default on all models though, and up to 2TB of storage on the Pro models, thanks to a new type of memory, although this could be slower to read and write data than current iPhones.

Don't expect the long-rumored Apple-built modem to appear this year. Apple's reportedly been struggling to develop a production-ready chip and Qualcomm is set to supply the iPhone with modems through 2026. Jeff Pu claims we'll get a Snapdragon X75 modem with a new "5G advanced" standard that can hit 7.5 Gbps

iPhone 16: Battery

Leaks indicate that the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max could see an increased battery size. The apparent increase for those models could be joined by a 6% decrease in the capacity of the iPhone 16 Plus's battery however.

A different leak claims Apple could promise over thirty hours of battery life for the new iPhones. That would be quite something considering we only see all-day battery life promised for the iPhone 15 series, although we have to wonder if this will apply to all the iPhone 16s, or just the largest models.

There has been some talk of Apple looking into new ways to disperse heat in the iPhone 16 following complaints about some iPhone 15 Pro overheating. One possible solution involves Apple using a frosted metal shell and new connector for the battery, at least for the iPhone 16 Pro Max. Higher battery density could be on the cards too, allowing a greater capacity in the same-sized cell.

iPhone 16: Cameras

A concept for the iPhone 15 Ultra, showing the phone from the front and back
A concept for the iPhone 15 Ultra, showing the phone from the front and back

Without rumors telling us otherwise, we'd assume the cameras used on the iPhone 16 will be the same as those found on the iPhone 15, which will likely be a 48MP main camera joined by 12MP ultrawide, selfie and telephoto (on the Pro models) cameras. While both regular and Pro iPhones could use the same 48MP main resolution, the sensor on the Pro models could be larger to give the more expensive iPhones a greater advantage with photography.

The 48MP main camera could get a size upgrade says one source, claiming that the new sensor will measure 1/1.14 inches (0.87 inches) instead of the current 1/1.28 inches (0.78 inches). A larger sensor should hopefully translate to brighter and more colorful images.

A second 48MP sensor could be added to the Pro models' ultrawide cameras, allowing for the same benefits, and maybe even full 48MP ProRes shots, at the iPhone's widest 0.5x magnification level. This was repeated by Chinese leaker Digital Chat Station, which hopefully means this rumor's more than just empty words.

Meanwhile, the standard models could revert back to the vertical camera arrangement last seen on the iPhone 12. This may be changing in order to support Spatial video recording for Vision Pro and other headsets.

We've also been hearing about there being an improved telephoto camera on both the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max, with multiple rumors claiming the iPhone 16 Pro will adopt the tetraprism telephoto lens complete with 5x zoom capabilities. Both the telephoto and main lens may also get a higher quality lens as well.

We're expecting the same 12MP selfie cameras on the iPhone 16 as we saw on the iPhone 15. There won't be any big change until the iPhone 17, says one source, which will apparently start using 24MP sensors for its front-facing cameras.

iPhone 16: Software

It's a certainty that iOS 18 will power the 2024 iPhone models. What's less certain is what kind of features the new iOS will deliver, as details about those are unlikely to emerge until just before the Worldwide Developers conference in the summer. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says the software update could introduce a redesign, though no specifics have materialized yet.

However, one consistent iOS 18 rumor has emerged — AI-powered features are likely to take center stage, as Apple looks to play catch-up with AI efforts from rivals like Google and Samsung. That could mean a revamped Siri that's better equipped to handle complex tasks with simple voice commands. It's likely that we'll see these features announced at WWDC 2024, which gets started with a June 10 keynote.

Early rumors claimed that the iPhone 16 models will have horsepower to perform all of these AI-intensive tasks on device, while earlier iPhones may need to offload some AI features to the cloud. However sources speaking to Mark Gurman claim that some AI features will need to be processed on the cloud, using servers powered by the M2 Ultra chip and complete with server precautions to ensure user privacy.

Apple apparently expects users to interact with its AI features primarily with Siri, which is why the iPhone 16 is due to get a new microphone according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The new mic will be able to pick up a user's voice more clearly, hopefully meaning more accurate understanding of your instructions.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has stated in his Power On newsletter that iOS 18 could be the biggest software update in iPhone history. He wrote, "I’m told that the new operating system is seen within the company as one of the biggest iOS updates — if not the biggest — in the company’s history.”

Gurman's also teased that the iOS 18 update could allow for improved customization of the home screen. He didn't elaborate on this comment initially, but we're hoping this will make it easier to move apps to exactly where you want them on the home screen grid like you can on Android, instead of automatically closing up all space between apps for the most compact layout.

iPhone 16: Ultra model

Apple's been making Pro and Pro Max iPhones for the past four years, and we expect the iPhone 15 series to take us into a fifth. But iPhone 16 could bring us an iPhone Ultra model, above both the Pro and the Pro Max, for the first time. In return, Apple would discontinue one of the basic iPhone models, keeping the line-up as a quartet.

That said, one source says only to expect it "in the next couple of years," so maybe it won't be the iPhone 16 series that introduces the Ultra after all.

How exactly Apple would elevate the iPhone to an Ultra level is unclear. It could take inspiration from existing Ultra phones like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in multiple ways, such as by enlarging the display, or adding more cameras. Considering the Apple Watch Ultra took the Apple Watch 8's basic design, made it larger and added extra features inside and out, it'll be interesting to see what Apple comes up with for its signature product. We have some thoughts on how an iPhone 16 Ultra could differentiate itself from a Pro Max model.

iPhone 16: Outlook

Obviously, it's still very early in the iPhone 16's production timeline for any of these rumors to be particularly reliable. But the fact they're leaking out already is nonetheless interesting.

New cameras with bigger zoom (and on more phones), a larger frame, an upgraded display, plus the usual annual power and performance enhancements, would all be a step up from what the iPhone 15 delivered — and those devices dominate the upper echelons of our best iPhone rankings. Plus there's the tantalizing prospect of what an Ultra iPhone could bring that the current Pro models don't provide.

But right now it's premature to say if it's really worth skipping any of the iPhone 15 models in order to wait for what the fall will deliver. All we can do is wait and see what more rumors tell us, and then slowly piece together the information up until September 2024.

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