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Apple iPhone 16 rumors: Everything we know so far and what we want to see
Update: November 17, 2023 (12:00 PM ET): We have updated our iPhone 16 series rumor hub with new information regarding the design and potential AI upgrades.
Apple’s iPhone 15 series is still fairly new right now, but the leaks landscape is far more evolved than what it used to be till a few years back, and thanks to that, we already have a number of iPhone 16 rumors and leaks going around.
Apple made some significant changes to the 2023 iPhone lineup, including the addition of USB-C, the mute-switch-replacing Action Button, Titanium bodies instead of Stainless Steel, Dynamic Island on the non-Pro iPhones, a periscope camera for the Pro Max model, and more. If you’ve been following Apple long enough, you’d know that most of these new features from the iPhone 15 series would most certainly be coming to iPhone 16 models. What’s exclusive to the Pros today would likely trickle down to the non-Pro variants next year. It’s just how Apple does things. With all that and the leaks that we have at hand, here’s what you can expect from the iPhone 16 lineup.
Apple iPhone 16 series: At a glance
- When is it expected to come out? You can expect Apple to launch the iPhone 16 series in September 2024.
- What new features could there be? The iPhone 16 lineup should get an A-series processor. It's also rumored to feature a new button, improved cameras, larger displays, and possibly an "Ultra" model.
- How much might it cost? We expect the iPhone 16 to start at $799 for the non-Pro models and $999 for the Pro variants.
Will there be an iPhone 16 series?
There’s no doubt Apple will launch new iPhones in 2024. The company’s numbered series has been going steady since the iPhone 4. Before that, Apple had the original iPhone and two iPhone 3G models. But ever since the iPhone 4, Apple has been consistent with the numbered naming scheme, and we’re now nearing the iPhone 16 series. The 2024 lineup will mark 18 years of iPhones. Will Apple finally mature enough to open up its walled garden that is iOS? Who knows? But we do have tons of iPhone 16 info to run through. Read on to get the lowdown.
What is the most likely iPhone 16 series release date?
- Apple iPhone 13: September 14, 2021
- Apple iPhone 14: September 7, 2022
- Apple iPhone 15: September 12, 2023
Apple has been launching new iPhones in September since the iPhone 5. Barring the iPhone SE models, September is Apple’s preferred month for flagship announcements. It was only during the pandemic that Apple went off course and launched the iPhone 12 series in October. But if all goes as planned and there are no last-minute manufacturing hitches, the iPhone 16 series should arrive like clockwork in September 2024. It’s too early for even leaked details about a possible iPhone 16 release date, but we’ll update this article as and when we hear anything about it.
What rumored specs and features could the iPhone 16 series have?
Design, display, and buttons
Apple made several notable design changes on the iPhone 15 series, and we expect the company to refine these going forward. We think Apple’s newly launched Action Button will make its way to the non-Pro iPhone 16 models next year. As we said earlier, bringing Pro features to base iPhone models is a practice Apple has followed for years. The Dynamic Island on the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus is a prime example of that. So, if you prefer the mute switch over the new button, know that it will most likely disappear for good after the iPhone 16 lineup goes official.
Apple could equip the iPhone 16 series with yet another new button.
If one new button wasn’t enough, rumor has it that Apple will equip the iPhone 16 series with yet another button. According to a MacRumors report, Apple internally refers to this new button as the “Capture Button.” It is expected to appear on the right side of the device and, by the sound of it, could have something to do with taking pictures. All-in-all, it looks like the iPhone 16 series may come with as many as five buttons, including the power button, two volume buttons, the Action Button, and the new Capture Button. What’s unclear is if all iPhone 16 models will get this rumored new button or if Apple will again reserve it for the Pro models to make them more premium than the Plus and standard variants.
Another theory is that Apple could remove all the physical buttons and opt for solid-state buttons for next year’s iPhone 16 Pro models. This feature was heavily expected on the iPhone 15 series but reportedly had to be delayed due to manufacturing issues.
There’s also the possibility Apple does nothing at all with the design. In November, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the iPhone 16 won’t have any major hardware advances in 2024. It looks like Apple may be focusing more on software this time around.
The overall footprint of the new 2024 iPhones could also be larger than ever
The overall footprint of the new 2024 iPhones could also be larger than ever. Gurman and display analyst Ross Young concur that Apple plans to increase the size of its two iPhone 16 Pro models by “a couple of tenths of an inch diagonally.” The new displays are expected to measure 6.2 inches and 6.8 inches for the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max, respectively, making them the largest ever for the iPhone. Meanwhile, 9to5Mac claims the top-of-the-line iPhone could adopt the “Ultra” branding next year and feature a 6.9-inch display, while the smaller iPhone 16 Pro could get a 6.3-inch OLED.
The heating problems that initially impacted the iPhone 15 Pro appear to have had an effect on Apple’s planning. According to tipster Kosutami, the firm doesn’t want to repeat this mistake with the iPhone 16. The leak alleges Apple is working on a graphene-based thermal system to improve heat dissipation.
As for the base iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, we expect Apple to stick to the same screen sizes. Display analyst Young also suggests that Apple is only expected to bring high refresh rate screens to base iPhones in 2025. That means we might be stuck with 60Hz displays on the cheaper iPhones next year as well.
Another visual change could make the size of the Dynamic Island significantly smaller. The Elec reported in January 2023 that the iPhone 16 Pro models could house an under-display face unlock or Face ID.
iPhone 16 series camera specs
There are a number of rumors already swirling around about iPhone 16 camera specs. Apple introduced a new tetraprism zoom lens on the iPhone 15 Pro Max this year. The lens is expected to match the performance of a 120mm full-frame camera lens. According to Apple analyst and trusted informer Ming-Chi Kuo, the lens won’t be restricted to the top iPhone model next year, and both the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will feature tetraprism telephoto cameras.
Weibo tipster Digital Chat Station has also claimed that the iPhone 16 Pro will gain a 5x zoom camera rather than just the Pro Max model. They also claim that the iPhone 16 Pro will pack a 48MP primary camera sensor.
DCS adds that the iPhone 16 Pro Max could land with a “periscope ultra-telephoto,” meaning it might have a very high focal length, beating the likes of the Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S23 Ultra. Meanwhile, Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu claims that Apple will add a 48MP ultrawide shooter to the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max. If true, this will be a major resolution upgrade compared to the 12MP ultrawide sensor currently used on iPhone models.
Other expected specs and features
Other specs for the iPhone 16 series remain under wraps, but we do expect the annual processor upgrade. Based on how Apple does things, the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus should ideally get the A17 Pro chip Apple is now using in the iPhone 15 Pro phones, while the iPhone 16 Pro lineup could see a brand new 18-series chip from Apple.
However, analyst Jeff Pu (via Macrumors) has debunked this theory. He claims that all four new iPhone 16 series phones will be equipped with the A18 series chips. Pu also expects the chips to be manufactured by TSMC on its second-generation 3nm process instead of the first-generation 3nm process used on the A17 Pro chip. There could still be a difference in the processors that the non-Pro and Pro iPhones 16 models get. As per Pu, the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus will get the A18 chip, while the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max will come equipped with the A18 Pro chip. Meanwhile, the RAM and storage tiers of the iPhone 16 series could remain the same as this year.
An October 22 report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman talked about how Apple plans to infuse generative AI into its products in the coming years. The fruits of Apple’s efforts might be visible on the iPhone 16 series, with the company reportedly integrating AI features in next year’s big iOS update as well as its digital assistant Siri.
Lending further credence to Gurman’s report, tipster Revegnus also claimed that Siri will be integrated with an in-house LLM. Revegnus also mentioned we could see this AI-infused Siri as soon as WWDC 2024 and the iPhone may be the first device to benefit from it.
What might the iPhone 16 series’ price be?
- iPhone 15: Starts at $799
- iPhone 15 Plus: Starts at $899
- iPhone 15 Pro: Starts at $999
- iPhone 15 Pro Max: Starts at $1,199
Apple has already increased prices for its Pro Max model. You could buy the base 128GB iPhone 14 Pro Max for $1,099 in 2022, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max underwent big changes and starts at $1,199 for a 256GB model. We expect Apple to stick to the new $1,199 price and higher base storage for the iPhone 16 Pro Max. As for the rest of the lineup, it’s tough to say if Apple will keep prices unchanged or increase them. We aren’t hearing about huge upgrades just yet, so the iPhone 16 series could also end up starting at $799. We’ll be better positioned to predict prices as and when more information about the phones leaks.
Should you wait for the iPhone 16 series?
If you’re looking to pick up a new flagship iPhone right now, it makes little sense to wait for the iPhone 16 series simply because it is a year away.
Apple’s iPhone 15 lineup is more than capable of scratching your new iPhone itch. You can buy the iPhone 15 ($829.99 at Amazon), iPhone 15 Plus ($899 at Apple), iPhone 15 Pro ($999 at Amazon), or iPhone 15 Pro Max ($1199 at Amazon) depending on your budget and what you need. You may also find good deals on the new iPhones at major carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon, or you could pick up the phones for free with some carriers.
Apple iPhone 16 series: What we want to see
Better heat dissipation
The iPhone 15 series isn’t off to a good start, with overheating issues being noticed across the board. The Pro iPhone 15 models are more impacted than the non-Pro variants. While Apple has acknowledged the problem and rolled out a fix that reduces overheating, we hope the company does a better job with the thermals on the iPhone 16 series. Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple sacrificed cooling tech on the iPhone 15 Pro series to make it lighter, and if that’s the reason the phones are heating up, we hope the company has learned its lesson and makes amends next year.
Higher screen refresh rate
The display refresh rate of the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus feels archaic at 60Hz. No premium Android smartphone is stuck at 60Hz anymore, and almost all of them offer at least a 120Hz display refresh rate if not more. Apple really has no convincing excuse for the lack of high refresh rate screens on the non-Pro iPhones. We really hope it doesn’t wait until 2025 to give us at least a 90Hz screen on the cheapest iPhone.
Now that Apple has entered the USB-C fray, it can amp up charging speeds on the iPhone 16 series. The company is still using iPhone 14-era 20W wired charging speeds. MagSafe also supports the same 15W wireless charging. Surely, Apple could do better. We’re not saying we want insane 200W charging speeds, but even a jump to true 45W charging would be a welcome upgrade.