- iPhone 16 is shaping up to be a modest upgrade as compared to iPhone 15 series.
- A new Graphene thermal system along with a battery shell in the works to ward off heating issues.
- iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus could arrive with a new A-17 chipset designed specially for non-Pro iPhones.
Soon after the iPhone 15 series was unveiled, the next-gen iPhone 16 series was all over the news already. Well, that’s the craze around iPhones! We know it’s too early, but there’s been a lot of insider information on the iPhone 16 series that’s lined up for 2024. There are some big upgrades and improvements that justify all the hype. We have summed up all the leaks, tips, and rumors around the iPhone 16 series, including its specifications, camera upgrades, price, release date, and more. So, here’s what to expect and what not to from the 2024 iPhone lineup. We will go along as the rumor cycle evolves, so make sure to stay updated with us.
Last updated on November 28, 2023, to include new rumors about iPhone 16 camera.
iPhone 16: Design & Display
There are three major display and design upgrades that are rumored to shake up the 2024 iPhones, giving us a new look and feel of Apple smartphones.
First, multiple sources suggest that we’ll see slightly bigger iPhone Pro models in 2024. The iPhone 16 Pro is tipped to feature a 6.27-inch size. Whereas, the iPhone 16 Pro Max might be the largest iPhone ever launched with a whopping 6.86-inch display. Also, the leaked CAD renderings (via 9to5Mac) show that the iPhone 16 Pro Max will have a taller display than the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Also, since the iPhone 15 Pro models got the much-anticipated titanium frame, we’ll see that in the iPhone 16 Pro models as well. These larger displays will be a Pro-exclusive upgrade.
The iPhone 16 and 16 Plus will feature the same 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays. Thankfully, Apple tweaked the standard versions this year with contoured edges, curved design, and Dynamic Island. The iPhone 16 and 16 Plus will inherit these features. Also, we’ll see the stunning color-fused glass back with a matte finish, that debuted with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.
Moving on, there have been a lot of opinions about the addition of microLED displays on iPhone 16 Pro models. This is in Apple’s pipeline, but it seems a long way off right now. We would see a microLED Apple Watch first, maybe in 2024 or 2025. iPhones and Pads will expectedly join the fun later.
Under Display FaceID
Earlier the Korean site The Elec suggested that Apple is on track to adopt under-display Face ID technology, which will replace the notch as well as the Dynamic Island. This technology is initially expected to arrive with iPhone 16 Pro models in 2024. However, the display analyst Ross Young shared a roadmap that takes us to a different side of the story where we won’t get to see under display Face ID until 2025.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also believes that Apple’s move to ” fully embed Face ID and front-facing camera into the display itself” might be at least 3-4 years away. Factoring all this, one thing seems to be evident the iPhone 16 Pro models will also feature the Dynamic Island that first debuted with the iPhone 14 Pro lineup.
When the under-display Face ID finally launches on iPhones, we will get a bigger display area with a circular cutout for the selfie camera, just like what we’ve been seeing on modern Samsung smartphones.
We’ve also seen people talking about the return of Touch ID with the iPhone 16 series. However, several recent reports point to the fact that this isn’t happening and Apple might finally wave a goodbye to this technology. Even the iPhone SE 4 is expected to feature Face ID, rather than Touch ID found on the current iPhone SE models.
Solid State Buttons
The buttonless iPhone has been in rumors for quite a time now. There has been a lot of hype that Apple is all set to switch to solid-state power, volume, and mute buttons, ditching those traditional physical buttons. Sadly, Apple didn’t entirely transition to solid-state buttons with the iPhone 15 models, we got the customizable Action Button on iPhone 15 Pro models tough. Ever since this came out, we’ve heard a lot of rumors that hint at the addition of solid-state buttons to the iPhone 16 Pro models. Analysts Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman have speculated that Apple is likely to use solid-state technology in its 2024 iPhone models.
You can use the solid-state buttons just like the physical buttons. That said, there’s no actual button press. Instead, there’s a haptic vibration that gives you the sensation of pressing down the button but there’s no physical movement. Apple is already using solid-state technology in the Touch ID Home button on the iPhone SE and the trackpad on MacBook models.
Unarguably, the idea of solid-state buttons on iPhones is damn exciting. However, the Analyst Jeff Pu suggests (via Macrumors) that there’s a low chance that we would see iPhone 16 Pro with solid-state buttons. It seems Apple still needs some time to make it to the table or maybe the plans have met their dead end. Additionally, the top Apple supplier, Cirrus Logic said that it has limited knowledge of Apple’s plans at the moment. Since there’s a lot of mix-up, we’ll have to wait until Apple discloses its cards in 2024.
An Additional Capacitive Capture Button
We have been hearing a lot of leaks that the iPhone 16 lineup will get an additional capacitive button named the “Capture button”. Recently, a Weibo leaker Instant Digital (spotted first by Macrumors), said there’s a great chance that Apple will introduce an additional button below the Power key. To accommodate this change, Apple will move the mmWave 5G antenna from the right to the left side of the iPhone. Right now, it isn’t clear what this button will be used for. The brand-new Capture and Action buttons on the iPhone 16 are expected to feature solid-state technology rather than the standard design. At the moment it seems we’ll have the physical (and not solid-state) power key and volume buttons. That said, Apple might plan to switch the route.
Along with the Capture button, the base models of the iPhone 16 are also likely to get an upgraded Action Button akin to the iPhone 15 Pro variants.
iPhone 16: Camera Upgrades
Like the iPhone 15 series, the standard iPhone 16 models are also tipped to feature a 48MP primary and a 12MP ultrawide camera on their rear panels. While all the variants might feature a 48MP main snapper, there are significant rumors that expensive models could have a larger sensor for brighter images. Instead of the current 1/1.28 inches (0.78 inches), the upgraded sensor will be 12% larger and measure 1/1.14 inches (0.87 inches) in size. There’s also a possibility that the rear camera bump on the iPhone 16 Pro lineup will house a 48MP ultra-wide sensor, which is a major upgrade over the current 12MP ultrawide angle lens on iPhone 15 Pro models. This will allow the lens to capture more light for improved low-light photography.
We recently came across a new report on the iPhone 16 series from the Economic Dialy News (a Taiwanese site), suggesting some big changes to the camera. It says Apple will use the advanced molded glass lens on the iPhone 16 Pro, which means we might witness a lighter and thinner design. The lenses will be shorter and have better optical zoom. The new camera design is claimed to only change the telephoto lens.
A periscope telephoto camera or tetraprism lens has also tipped to make its way on the iPhone 16 Pro, rather than just the iPhone 16 Pro Max. Currently, due to size constraints, only the iPhone 15 Pro Max has the periscope telephoto camera. If things turn in favor, it will be exciting to see the aligned camera specs on the Pro models, especially for users who prefer a smaller Pro model. Users will surely admire the upgraded camera on the iPhone 16 Pro.
Also, the iPhone 16 Pro Max could house a super-periscope telephoto camera with drastically improved zoom capabilities. For reference, the label ‘ultra’ or ‘super’ is tagged to cameras with a focal length of over 300mm, which can do wonders in pulling and magnifying distant objects. The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a focal length of 120mm, so the focal length more than of 300mm on the iPhone 16 Pro Max will be a huge, huge increase.
Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the entire iPhone 16 lineup will come up with a stacked rear camera setup. The stacked camera will allow more light for lifelike shots. Meanwhile, standard iPhone 16 models might revert back to that vertical camera layout that we saw last on iPhone 12 models.
iPhone 16: Specs & Features
The iPhone 16 lineup will ship with iOS 18 out-of-the-box. Considering the cool features added to iOS 17, it will be super-exciting to see what iOS 18 brings to its users. Apart from an immensely rich software, below are some rumored and possible iPhone 16 specifications. Let’s check them out!
5G Modem Chips
Recently, we came across many reports that suggest that iPhone 16 Pro models will be equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X75 modem for faster and improved 5G connectivity. Qualcomm says that the X75 modem provides improved carrier aggregation, takes up less space, and consumes up to 20 percent less power. In addition, the X75 processor supports ‘5G Advanced’ standards with AI and Machine Learning enhancements which has been described as ‘the evolution towards 6G’. The vanilla iPhone 16 models might have to settle with the Qualcomm X70 chip that’s currently found on the iPhone 15 series.
Apple has been using Qualcomm chips for years now. It’s been a few years that Apple has been working to develop its own modem chip and antenna setup, so they don’t have to source any components. The Cupertino tech giant has been unhappy with Qualcomm for their licensing terms and also sued them in 2017. An Apple-designed 5G modem chip has been tipped for quite a long time, and initially, Apple wanted to introduce its own modem chip in 2023 but the project was pushed back. Earlier this year, we came across a strong statement from Qualcomm’s CEO that Apple is likely to adopt its own 5G modem chips in 2024. However, a more recent leak from Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that Apple’s in-house modem chip will come out in 2025. So, we might see the iPhone 16 models with Qualcomm chipsets only.
Recently, Apple picked up a habit of releasing its new iPhones with two different chipsets. The Pro models get the latest and more powerful chip while the standard models inherit the chipset from the previous year’s Pro models. The tech giant started doing this with the iPhone 14 and continued it with the iPhone 15 series as well. If we look at this, the standard models should get the A17 Pro chipset, right? However, this might not be the case. There are tips and rumors suggesting that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus won’t get an older chipset. Now, that doesn’t mean they will get an A18 chip, that will only be reserved for the iPhone 16 Pro variants.
One Weibo user claims that Apple is developing a brand-new A17 chipset for the standard iPhone 16 models. These new chipsets will use a totally different manufacturing process. The A17 Pro chip is built using TMSC’s N3B process, and Apple might switch to lower-cost N3E process for its A17 chip. The standard A17 chipset would still be 3nm, but it wouldn’t be the same as the A17 Pro. Since Apple added the “Pro” moniker to its chipset this year, multiple users already have an idea that Apple would come up with a standard variant for standard models. After all, Apple is known for such moves.
A recent leak also anticipates a different side of the story. Analyst Jeff Pu told MacRumors about his expectations about the inclusion of the A18 chipset in the iPhone 16 & 16 Plus, and the A18 Pro chip in the iPhone 16 Pro models. The A18 and A18 Pro chips are expected to build on the same, TMSC’s lower-cost N3E process that’s speculated for the A17 chips. Given the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are powered by the previous year’s A16 Bionic chip, the jump to the A17 chipset would be a notable and significant change.
Generative AI Capabilties
Apple’s iOS 18 is expected to bring advanced Siri features powered by Large Language Models (LLM). We may see many new features on iPhones, but the cutting-edge generative AI features could be exclusive to the iPhone 16 models only. With powerful, generative AI capabilities, we may witness improved interactions between Siri and the Messages app, integration with the Shortcuts app to automate complex tasks, auto-generate Apple Music playlists, AI-assisted content creation on productivity apps, and much more.
Wi-Fi 7 Support
Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max might adopt the next-gen Wi-Fi 7 standard. Theoretically, Wi-Fi 7 offers a max data transfer speed of up to 40 Gbps, which is a four times increase over Wi-Fi 6E.
For reference, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus make use of Wi-Fi 6. And, Apple upgraded the 2023 Pro models with Wi-Fi 6E support. Now that the giant has made an upgrade, making a year-on-year shift in Wi-Fi standards might be a big ask for Apple. Even if the tech giant surprises everyone, you’ll need a Wi-Fi 7 compatible router to take advantage of those lightning-fast speeds, which is quite pricey.
Higher Base Storage
The modern iPhones come with four storage options, starting with a 128GB base storage and going all the way up to 1TB. Currently, we don’t foresee a 2TB option, so the maxed-out storage option won’t change. That said, Apple might drop the 128GB option, making 256 GB as the entry-level storage. This year, Apple dropped the 128GB storage model in the iPhone 15 Pro models. This brought a wave of overjoys and disappointment. After all, that higher 256GB base storage means higher starting price points as well. We might see Apple doing something similar with the non-Pro variants as well. Frankly speaking, I think 128GB is an ideal storage option for casual users.
iPhone 16: Battery
There has been quite a lot of news about Apple utilizing stacked battery technology for its future iPhones. Earlier, a Twitter user RGcloudS suggested that the iPhone 15 lineup might follow the new protocol and upgraded wired charging speeds. Later on, RGcloudS claimed that Apple stacked battery technology, 40W wired charging, and 20W MagSafe charging will come to the iPhone 16 series.
If this turns out to be legit, we’ll get to see bigger battery capacity, improved charging speeds, and prolonged lifespan on (at least) iPhone 16 Pro models. Since RGcloudS doesn’t have a clear record of Apple leaks (he has a proven record of Android leaks though), it’s best to take this leak with a pinch of salt.
Recently, a tipster KosuTamiSan revealed that Apple is working on a graphene thermal system to fix overeheating issues currently found on iPhone 15 Pro models. We got some exciting details on the iPhone 16 Pro’s battery unit. The tipster also leaked some images of the proposed prototype of the iPhone 16 Pro’s battery showing different angles.
While the early stage prototype has the same “L-shape” design as other iPhone batteries, it has a new “frosted metal design”. The close-up shots reveal a 3,355mAh battery size for the iPhone 16 Pro, which is a slight increase from the 3,274mAh battery on the iPhone 15 Pro. An interesting thing to note here is that the new battery design may improve thermal management on the iPhone 16 Pro. Also, these changes are expected to make a way on the iPhone 16 Pro Max too. At the moment, there
Will there be an iPhone 16 Ultra?
Apple has been selling iPhone Pro and Pro Max models since the iPhone 11 series. With the iPhone 16, we might get to see a new top-end signature model with the iPhone 16 Ultra. Mark Gurman (in his February 2023 Power On newsletter) that Apple could bring an even higher-end model, iPhone Ultra that will sit at the top, over the iPhone Pro and Pro Max models. Earlier, the Ultra model was speculated to debut with the iPhone 15 series, but it was a no show. That said, there are strong rumors that Apple might introduce the high-end iPhone 16 Ultra in 2024.
Talking about the design and features, nothing’s clear as of now. It might feature an enlarged display, faster chip, more cameras, or maybe even the much-rumored port-less design. Looking at Apple Watch Ultra which brings a revamped design, with exclusive features inside and out, we might see Apple doing something similar with its iPhone Ultra model. That said, there’s no concrete foundation to lay our expectations on. The plans are still in flux so it might get delayed until 2025 or later.
iPhone 16: Release Date & Price
If we look at the past records, Apple hasn’t deviated much from its usual launch times. We saw the iPhone 15 series on September 7, 2022, and the latest iPhone 15 lineup on September 12, 2023. So, it’s highly anticipated that the iPhone 16 Series will follow the company’s timeline and arrive sometime in September 2024.
Right now, there are no concrete numbers on the iPhone 16 pricing. All we can assume at the moment is that Apple’s entry-level iPhone 16 model might come with the standard $799 (~ Rs 66,400) price tag. This year, Apple increased the starting price of its Pro Max model (from $1,099 on 14 Pro Max to $1,199 on 15 Pro Max), the iPhone 16 Pro Max will also fall under the new price brackets. Not to forget, if there comes an Ultra model, which is presumably the new high-end model, it will cost even more.
So, if we are to get a clearer picture by taking into all the considerations we have discussed above, the iPhone 16 series could shape up to be like the following:
Expected Models iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus (might be dropped), iPhone 16 Pro, iPhone 16 Pro Max, iPhone 16 Ultra Display Size iPhone 16: 6.1-inches,
iPhone 16 Plus: 6.7-inches
iPhone 16 Pr0: 6.27-inches
iPhone 16 Pro Max: 6.86-inches
Software iOS 18 Wi-Fi Connectivity Wi-Fi 7 Standard Rear Camera iPhone 16 & iPhone 16 Plus: 48MP Primary 1/1.28 inches Wide, & 12MP ultrawide camera
iPhone 16 Pro & iPhone 16 Pro Max: 48MP 1/1.14 inches Wide, 48MP Ultrawide, 12MP Telephoto
Modem Apple-designed 5G modem chips Battery 40W wired, and 20W MagSafe charging (with stacked battery technology,) Expected Release Date September 2024 Possible Price iPhone 16: $799 (~ Rs 66,400)
iPhone 16 Pro: $1,099(~ Rs 91,300)
iPhone 16 Pro Max: $1,199 (~Rs 99,6oo)
What are your expectations from the iPhone 16 series? Do you think Apple will add another variant, the iPhone 16 Ultra, to its lineup? Do let us know your views in the comments section.