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Apple A-Z » iPhone

iPhone 16

iPhone 16

Apple's iPhone 16 lineup could see significant changes across every model. The standard models could get the Action button while pro models are rumored to get a Capture button. Plus AI will get a boost with the A18 Pro processor.

● A18 chip
● Capture button
● 48MP Ultra Wide Camera
● Larger displays for pro models
● Advanced AI features
● Expected in September 2024

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Time marches on, and that means a new iPhone is coming. The iPhone 16 lineup is due in September of 2024, and rumors are piling up.

So far, rumors have centered around potential component orders in the supply chain. These indicate things like whether Apple will still have the Dynamic Island or a new Capture button.

Rumors have lacked variety this cycle, but there's enough to get an idea of what Apple is going for next. Of course, as with any rumor cycle, any and all of these features could be abandoned before release.

A significant indicator for what could be coming in the fall will be announced in June during WWDC. As Apple increases its emphasis on AI, its hardware will be more focused on optimizing the tools.

iPhone 16: Plus, Pro, Max

Apple is expected to continue its two-tiered system of pro and standard devices — with a twist introduced in 2023. The standard iPhone and iPhone Plus should have near-identical features with different screen sizes, while the pro models won't.

External designs won't change much in 2024 External designs won't change much in 2024

There could be enough differentiation that Apple would call the high-end device iPhone 16 Ultra. Mark Gurman states this model would have the best camera configuration, the best display, and perhaps even an improved processor.

The Ultra name was rumored for the iPhone 15 lineup too, and since the name hasn't come up in recent rumors, it likely won't happen this time either. It has been rumored for multiple years and never pans out.

Pro models are expected to get a slight size increase. The iPhone 16 Pro would have a 6.27-inch display while the iPhone 16 Pro Max would have a 6.85-inch display.

A render of four iPhones based on leaked iPhone 16 Pro designs. They are colored black, white, purple, and blue. iPhone 16 Pro will have a similar design

That size increase would allow the smaller pro model to gain the 120 mm Tetraprism lens. A new photography-focused button called the Capture button is also rumored for pro models.

Otherwise, designs will likely remain somewhat similar year-over-year for every model. One notable change may be to the camera bump for the standard iPhones — shifting to a vertical alignment for spatial video capture.

A rumor in April 2024 suggests Apple could bring the metal-infused back glass to iPhone 16 Pro models. The material is easier to color and has a matte finish. It was originally used in the base iPhone 15.

Display

Apple is likely to retain the same display technologies for the iPhone 16 lineup. The increased display sizes would have a new 16.6:9 aspect ratio.

Standard iPhones could have the Dynamic Island Standard iPhones could have the Dynamic Island

One early rumor suggested Apple could get rid of the display cutouts entirely and rely on a pure software Dynamic Island that can disappear. The rumor hasn't been repeated or corroborated, so it likely isn't happening this generation.

The standard iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus would retain identical display sizes to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. They could gain an LTPO backplane for ProMotion and always-on display support, but so far those features have been reserved for pro models.

StandBy was introduced in iOS 17 and it is an interesting feature that takes full advantage of always-on displays. If Apple adds an LTPO backplane for a variable refresh rate, it doesn't necessarily need to enable refresh rates beyond 60Hz.

Some assume Apple could offer 90Hz displays on standard models, but no rumors indicate that.

Cameras

Apple has made big shifts in its cameras over the past few years — at least for pro models. Standard models likely won't see much of an upgrade beyond new capabilities enabled by the chipset and a new camera bump layout.

A purple iPhone 11 on a table iPhone 16 could have a similar camera bump to iPhone 11

A rumor from Unknownz21 suggests Apple is testing a vertical camera arrangement for base iPhone 16 models. This vertical arrangement hasn't been used since iPhone 12, but would return to enable users to record 3D video for Apple Vision Pro.

Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the tetraprism element introduced in iPhone 15 Pro Max could come to the iPhone 16 Pro due to increasing device sizes. There isn't enough space in the iPhone 15 Pro for the new 120 mm camera, but there should be in the 2024 model.

Apple could upgrade the Ultra Wide Camera to a 48MP sensor for pro models. It would mean sharper photography for the 0.5x mode and macro mode, but also offer significant improvements to spatial video capture and Portrait mode.

A rendered iPhone 16 Pro with a tan colored back and large camera bump iPhone 16 Pro is rumored to have improved camera systems

Cameras are a very important part of the iPhone and no doubt they will be emphasized for the iPhone 16 lineup. Alongside spec increases in hardware, Apple could also push new AI tools for taking and editing images.

Apple's competitors have pushed well beyond the realistic standpoint in photography with AI editing, but Apple will likely hold its ground. The AI capture and editing tools will likely focus on realistic image creation and not artificial moons or sky replacement.

Capture button

A new button could be added to the iPhone 16 Pro models below the sleep/wake button, which would require the mmWave antenna to move. Rumors refer to it as the "Capture button" and it likely would be used with the camera.

The bottom half of a rendered iPhone 16 Pro shows a new button on the right side iPhone 16 Pro could feature a new Capture button

Rumors surrounding the Capture button have moved from capacitive to mechanical with some different control options. Users may be able to swipe the button for zoom control, perform a half press to focus, and press to take a photo.

The location of the Capture button mimics where a shutter button would be on a digital camera. Apple has added a shutter button to iPhone before, but through the Smart Battery Case.

It seems unlikely that Apple would add a new button to iPhone two years in a row, but anything is possible. One of the most popular uses of iPhone is the camera, so emphasis on that use with a dedicated hardware button could reinforce that idea.

3D models and case leaks show a cutout for the rumored Capture button. Again, these could be based on existing leaked models, or they could be official specs shared from Apple to let manufacturers prepare for the launch.

Face ID and Touch ID

After years of rumors pointing to a return of Touch ID to the iPhone, they've finally fallen off. Ming-Chi Kuo states that Apple's solution for Face ID working with masks is enough of a stopgap that Touch ID won't return in 2024 models.

An iPhone 16 Pro render facing forward with a red wallpaper The Dynamic Island obscures the display cutouts

That leaves Face ID, which uses a sensor array situated beneath the dot and hole cutout in iPhone displays. Rumors suggest Apple could hide these components beneath the display, and this shouldn't reduce Face ID accuracy or security.

Apple hasn't stopped introducing new biometrics, though. The Apple Vision Pro uses something called Optic ID, which scans the wearer's iris.

It isn't clear if such biometric technology could come to iPhone or if it would be useful on a handheld device. For now, the only people that continue to worry about iPhone security are those with evil twins.

Processor

Apple's processor naming scheme just increases the value by one each year, so the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max would run the A18 Pro. It would be the second-generation 3nm processor with modest speed improvements and an improved Neural Engine targeting the new Apple AI.

Two iPhone 16 renders, one facing down with a tan color, one facing up displaying the time and a colorful wallpaper Apple's AI efforts will be an important part of iPhone 16

The standard models would get the iPhone 15 processor — likely the A17, sans "pro." It isn't clear how Apple will handle standard iPhone chips in 2024, as one rumor suggests both iPhone 16 models will get an A18 variant.

A18 Pro could introduce new wireless technology like Wi-Fi 7, though that rumor doesn't seem overly realistic. Apple isn't usually at the forefront of wireless technology, and Wi-Fi 6E has only been introduced with A17.

Apple focused on graphics improvements with the A17 Pro, but A18 Pro will likely be all-in on AI. The Neural Engine is a powerful component in Apple Silicon, but it could get a significant upgrade in 2024.

Apple AI and iPhone 16

Artificial intelligence has become a significant buzzword in silicon valley. Apple's avoidance of the term, relying on the older machine learning designation, has led to the belief that Apple is behind on AI.

Even though Apple didn't call it AI until recently, there has been significant features that relies on AI like autocorrect and the image pipeline.

Apple will reveal its AI plans during WWDC on June 10. There are rumors around what Apple is planning, but nothing is set in stone.

One approach could be a focus on smaller on-device models. Apple will be able to build software that is more private and secure while passing more controversial server-side LLM work to companies like Google.

Whatever Apple's implementation, AI will be a significant part of iOS 18. 

iPhone Fold

Rumors haven't slowed about Apple's potential future foldable. It could be released as an ultra-premium model at any point, and 2024 could be it. Details have come from a mix of patents and leaks, so such a device is definitely being worked on internally, but that doesn't mean it will ever be released.

Apple could reveal iPhone Fold at any time Apple could reveal iPhone Fold at any time

The current concept of an Apple foldable shows an iPad mini-sized device that can fold closed with a small external display. Rumors suggest Apple is also working on two versions of a flip-style foldable as well.

Such a device could be released alongside the iPhone 16 lineup, but only if and when Apple determines it has overcome the category's limitations. Creased displays, fragile components, and failing parts in competitors' products don't signal a strong start for the category.

However, Apple Vision Pro and Spatial Computing seem to be the top priority for Apple going forward. That may eliminate such risky experiments as a foldable iPhone, at least until the risk is near zero. More likely, the foldable fad will die well before the tech catches up to make it viable.

Release date

Apple won't announce the iPhone 16 lineup until September 2024. As it gets closer to that date, more rumors will paint a clearer picture of what to expect from these devices.