iPhone 16 battery could last hugely longer, with new design & materials

By Malcolm Owen

Battery life is perhaps the most vital part of the iPhone experience. This is what the rumor mill expects will change power-wise with the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro series.

A battery being taken out of an iPhone [Apple]

Users often put the importance of the battery behind other factors in owning an iPhone. Processor performance, the camera system, and the display are all seemingly better ways to impress consumers looking to buy their next model.

But the battery is arguably one of the most essential elements of a smartphone. Without power, it simply doesn't work.

Getting that battery to last for as long as possible is a task Apple takes seriously. Each year, it makes tweaks to the battery, so users can have day-long usage of their smartphone.

With the iPhone 16 family of devices arriving in the fall, the rumor mill has offered quite a few claims for what battery changes could be on the way.

iPhone 16 battery - Capacity changes

One thing that everyone wants is even more battery life. While Apple could extend how long an iPhone can last by making it more power efficient, it can also do so by simply increasing the battery capacity.

In February, prominent but questionable leaker Majin Bu claimed that for two iPhone 16 models, the capacity will go up, but it will go down for one.

Battery life is important for iPhone users

The iPhone 16 Pro Max would jump from 4,441mAh of the iPhone 15 Pro Max to 4,676mAh. The iPhone 16 will allegedly reach 3,561mAh, up from 3,367 in the iPhone 15.

However, the iPhone 16 Plus will have a 4,006mAh battery, down from the 4,407mah of the iPhone 15 Plus.

Apple doesn't definitively list the mAh capacity of its batteries when it comes to the iPhone. Instead, it opts to say how long the battery life would be based on typical usage scenarios.

iPhone 16 battery - Battery design tweaks

There have been a few design changes floated by rumor accounts, which could impact the inbound generation of iPhones.

In November, images from leaker @KosutamiSan showed a J-shaped battery from an "early stage" iPhone 16 Pro prototype. In the leak, the battery is said to have a capacity of 3,355mAh, with a limited charge voltage of 4.48 volts.

Since the photographs were taken, it has been claimed that the battery surface has changed from a glossy one in the images to a "frosted metal shell." Apple has also allegedly redesigned the connector as well.

An alleged early iPhone 16 Pro battery [X/KostamiSan]

In May

, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo offered that there could be a more radical redesign of the battery in the iPhone 16 Pro Max. For that model, there could be an increased energy density for the battery cells.

The cells could also end up being encased in stainless steel instead of aluminum. The change could make it harder to dissipate heat through the chassis, but it would make the battery stronger, and even comply with EU requirements for removal.

Kuo added that the changes would only apply to the Pro Max model, but the design could be used throughout the iPhone 17 lineup.

iPhone 16 battery - Graphene heat sink

The battery can generate heat inside the iPhone, which could become a problem if left unchecked. Heat can also impact the wear of the battery, causing it to deteriorate quicker.

A November 16 report from KosutamiSan claimed that Apple could shift to a graphene heat sink and a metal battery case in the iPhone 16, to improve heat transfer.

Graphene would be used since there's so little space in the iPhone for thermal management. Graphene also has ten times more thermal conductivity than copper.

iPhone 16 battery - High-performance cathode technology

Going more on a limb, an ETNews report from November said Apple was developing an all-new battery. Apple was "directly participating in the development of materials that make up batteries," it said.

Apple was apparently pursuing a new composition of raw materials, including nickel, cobalt, manganese, and aluminum, for the cathode. It also wants to "dramatically increase the silicon content" to replace graphite, ultimately increasing capacity and reducing charging times.

Cooling the battery could make it last longer.

There's also mention of research into "carbon nanotubes" as a conductive material.

It was thought by the report that the new battery could be launched after 2025, though it's entirely plausible elements of the research could've made it into the batteries for the iPhone 16.

iPhone 16 battery - More eco-friendly

Apple has long pushed to improve its environmental credentials. Seemingly that includes batteries too.

In April 2023, Apple declared that all of the batteries it designs will use entirely recycled cobalt by 2025. At the same time, circuit boards will use 100% recycled tin soldering and gold plating, and all magnets will use recycled rare earth elements.

The declaration to design all batteries by 2025 to use recycled cobalt doesn't stop Apple from using the designs before 2025. Meaning it's entirely possible for the tech to make its way into the iPhone 16's power cells.

iPhone 16 battery - Made in India

Apple has been working to move some of its China-centric supply chain into other manufacturing hubs. The intention is to mitigate the potential damage to production from various events, such as political trade wars or natural disasters.

Mumbai, India

As part of this effort, Apple has spent years raising its production capacity in India. In December, Apple reportedly asked battery suppliers to increase production in India, so that it can better support the iPhone 16 supply chain.

This included Apple encouraging one supplier to build new factories in India, and another to scale up its existing production. At the same time, India's minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that TDK was building a new iPhone battery facility in a 180-acre plot in Manesar.

At the very least, the increase in production will mean more iPhones produced in India will use locally-produced batteries.