The iPhone 16 line – including the iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – are probably the most highly anticipated phones right now, and that’s despite them likely not launching until September of 2024.
So there’s quite a long time to wait, but because they’re so high profile they’re also leaking already, to the point where we have some idea of most of the specs they might have.
Highlights include camera upgrades, a new ‘Capture’ button, and larger displays for the Pro models. But there are loads of other leaks too, and you’ll find everything we’ve heard so far about these upcoming best iPhone contenders below – including predicted release dates and pricing.
- The iPhone 16 Pro is again rumored to have a 5x zoom camera
- The iPhone 16 Pro's battery capacity and design have leaked
- The iPhone 16 could be stuck with a 60Hz screen
- The iPhone 16 line could use graphene to keep cool
- The whole iPhone 16 line might feature a mysterious new button
- The iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max could have more expensive cameras
- The iPhone 16 could be more expensive than the iPhone 15
- iPhone 16 tipped to get a serious chip upgrade
- Detailed predictions reveal many possible iPhone 16 series specs
- Another rumor points to larger iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max screens
- The iPhone 16 could resurrect a canned iPhone 15 Pro feature
- iPhone 16 Pro tipped to get the best new feature of the iPhone 15 Pro Max
iPhone 16 release date speculation
- Likely to launch in the first half of September 2024
- The shipping date will probably be a week or so later
It goes without saying, but since Apple has only just released the iPhone 15 line, we can’t know exactly when the iPhone 16 line will arrive. That said, we can make some predictions based on past Apple form.
If the company sticks to tradition, we expect Apple to announce the release date for the iPhone 16 at the 2024 edition of its annual September launch event. We’re unlikely to learn the actual date of that event until sometime in August 2024, however we can use the dates of bygone Apple events to predict when next year’s Apple event might take place, and therefore when the iPhone 16 could hit shelves.
Apple generally picks the first or second week of September for its annual iPhone launches, and usually opts for a Tuesday, though occasionally the company goes for a Wednesday. The 2023 (read: iPhone 15) edition of Apple’s September event fell on September 12, with all four of the iPhone 15 models announced at the time going on sale just over a week later, on September 15.
That means September 3 or 10 are quite likely launch days for the iPhone 16 in 2024 (both dates are Tuesdays), though September 4 and 11 are possibilities, too. As with the iPhone 15, the iPhone 16 will probably begin shipping a week after pre-orders go live.
iPhone 16 price predictions
- Tipsters are in disagreement over iPhone 16 pricing
For obvious reasons, we're unlikely to learn official iPhone 16 pricing until September next year, and tipsters are already divided over whether Apple will increase or decrease prices next year.
Currently, Apple's cheapest iPhone 15 model, the standard iPhone 15, starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,499, while its most expensive, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, starts at $1,199 / £1,399 / AU$2,099. These figures could be mimicked by the iPhone 16 line in 2024, just as the iPhone 15 mimicked the iPhone 14 line on the price front.
However, some analysts predict that the iPhone 16 could actually be cheaper than the iPhone 15. This is because Apple reportedly plans to switch the process it uses to manufacture iPhone chipsets at some point in 2024, which could impact iPhone prices for the end consumer.
That said, on the flip side, the iPhone 16 could be more expensive than the iPhone 15 due to rising production costs. According to a recent Nikkei Asia report, the iPhone 15 Pro Max costs Apple $558 to produce; a 12% increase over the equivalent production cost of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
We've similarly heard that the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max might have more expensive cameras, which could push their prices up.
If production costs continue to rise, Apple may be forced to increase iPhone 16 retail prices in a bid to protect its bottom line. In other words, we could be looking at an iPhone 16 that costs in excess of $799 / £799 / AU$1,499 at its most basic, with an iPhone 16 Pro Max that starts at more than $1,199 / £1,199 / AU$2,199.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that Apple may debut its first Ultra-branded iPhone in 2024. Initially, rumors purported that an iPhone 15 Ultra would be replacing the iPhone 15 Pro Max this year, but that didn't happen, and analysts now predict that an iPhone 16 Ultra will debut next year, instead.
It’s not yet clear whether this Ultra iPhone would arrive in addition to or instead of an iPhone 16 Pro Max, but it is almost certain that Apple’s first Ultra iPhone will be the most expensive iPhone ever.
iPhone 16 possible screen sizes
- Larger displays, new aspect ratio for Pro models
- Standard model likely to remain 6.1 inches
When it comes to screen sizes, we’ve heard rumors that the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max could be the biggest iPhones yet.
Specifically, serial Apple tipster Ross Young claims that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Ultra (or iPhone 16 Pro Max, as it may be called) will boast 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch screens, respectively, with both phones getting a new 19.6:9 aspect ratio, too. This would make them the tallest and narrowest iPhones ever.
These 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch sizes have now been backed up by a second report, while a third leak similarly claims the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max screens will be 0.2 inches larger than their predecessors. Similarly, another leak suggests the iPhone 16 Pro will have a 6.27-inch screen and the iPhone 16 Pro Max will have a 6.86-inch one.
For reference, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max use 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screens, respectively, with every iPhone 15 model sporting an aspect ratio of 19.5:9.
The below mock-ups – created by 9to5Mac – illustrate just how much taller and narrower the iPhone 16 Ultra will appear versus the equivalent model in the iPhone 15 series.
Why might Apple be thinking about beefing up its already-beefy iPhones? Well, these larger iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Ultra screen sizes will supposedly make room for some serious camera upgrades (more on these later).
Ross Young notes that the standard iPhone 16 will stick with the same 19.5:9 aspect ratio as today’s best iPhones, though these dimension changes will potentially trickle down to the iPhone 17 and iPhone 17 Plus in 2025.
That's roughly in line with another leak, which puts the iPhone 16's display at 6.12 inches and the iPhone 16 Plus's at 6.69 inches, with both basic iPhone 16 models sadly being said to have a 60Hz refresh rate again, like their predecessors.
Beyond the sizes, the iPhone 16 line might have brighter screens than their predecessors – at least when viewed from the front. Apple is reportedly considering incorporating tech that would allow for this, while also being more power efficient, so battery life might be improved.
However, this would increase the production costs of the phones, and would reportedly make the screen seem less bright when viewed from the side, so it wouldn't be a complete upgrade.
iPhone 16 design rumors
- Standard iPhone 16 rumored to sport iPhone 11-style camera layout
- Face ID components could be hidden under the screen
- Every model could feature a new 'Capture' button
We haven’t heard too many iPhone 16 design rumors so far, but there are a handful of predictions already out in the wild.
The first refers to the arrangement of Face ID components on the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and South Korean outlet The Elec report that both phones will have their Face ID components hidden under the screen, similar to how many of the best Android phones now have under-display fingerprint scanners. This won’t completely eliminate the selfie camera cut-out – as the sensor itself will reportedly still be visible – but it could allow Apple to reduce its size down to a small punch-hole module.
The Elec claims that this design change will simply act as a stopgap for Apple, whose ultimate goal is to develop a completely uninterrupted, cut-out-less iPhone display.
The second iPhone 16 design rumor refers to the standard iPhone 16, exclusively. According to Twitter leaker @URedditor, the iPhone 16 will sport a vertical camera layout, rather than the diagonal setup used on every iPhone since the iPhone 13. “This will make the device instantly recognizable as the latest model” in 2024, @URedditor writes.
The standard iPhone 15 sticks with the same camera arrangement as the iPhone 14 – albeit with the addition of a 48MP main lens – so it figures that Apple could shake-up the appearance of the iPhone 16 by, well, going back to what it knows.
The third (and most interesting) iPhone 16 design rumor we've heard so far applies to every model in the lineup. According to sources familiar with the development of the iPhone 16 line, Apple’s next smartphones will feature an additional, capacitive button, known internally as the "Capture” button. The source gives no hint as to the purpose of this new button, but its name suggests that it could somehow relate to the iPhone 16’s camera functionality.
Unlike mechanical buttons, capacitive (or solid-state) buttons don’t move when pressed. Instead, they feature haptic engines that provide physical feedback (read: vibrations). The Home button on the iPhone SE (2022) is a capacitive button, as are the trackpads on newer MacBook models, so it’s safe to expect that this new "Capture” button will feel similar to the touch.
Early on in the iPhone 15 rumor cycle, the iPhone 15 Pro was tipped to be getting capacitive volume and power buttons. Then, in April 2023, Apple reportedly u-turned on its decision to include capacitive buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro, with the company reportedly needing more time to develop the haptic engines required to power them. Now, it looks like these capacitive buttons will indeed be debuting on the iPhone 16 line, albeit in the form of an entirely new button, rather than redesigned volume and power buttons.
However, we've heard this mystery new iPhone 16 button mentioned by a second source now too, and they added that the Action button will also be capacitive.
iPhone 16 camera rumors
- Periscope lens for both Pro models
- ‘Super-telephoto’ periscope lens rumored for Pro Max
- 48MP ultra-wide camera rumored, too
On the topic of cameras, the standard iPhone 16 could sport the same 48MP main and 12MP ultra-wide dual-sensor setup as the iPhone 15, and indeed early leaks suggest as much.
As usual, the more meaningful camera upgrades are likely destined for the iPhone 16 Pro, iPhone 16 Pro Max and/or iPhone 16 Ultra. Indeed, the iPhone 16 Pro could be the first mid-sized iPhone with a periscope zoom lens – a feature that’s currently exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in 2023.
We've heard this rumor a few times now, with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claiming as recently as September 2023 that the iPhone 16 Pro will inherit the ‘tetraprism’ periscope camera technology used by the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and analyst Jeff Pu saying the same about the iPhone 16 Pro in October.
Even more recently, Ming-Chi Kuo reiterated his 5x zoom camera claims in November, adding that the production yield on this camera is now much higher than it was, which might mean Apple is better able to equip multiple phones with it.
Periscope cameras – which get their name from their similarity to the instrument used on submarines and other naval vessels – essentially allow the viewer to zoom to extreme lengths while maintaining image quality. In the limited space of a phone's camera module, a periscope camera uses mirrors to allow for more lens elements, and therefore a longer zoom length – not to mention it can be mounted transversely.
As mentioned in the display section of this article, the larger 6.3-inch screen size of the iPhone 16 Pro will supposedly accommodate this inevitably hefty periscope camera.
The addition of a periscope zoom lens on the iPhone 16 Pro won’t necessarily bring parity between the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max (or iPhone 16 Ultra), however.
Indeed, reports suggest that this supersized 6.9-inch iPhone could get what’s known as a ‘super-telephoto’ periscope camera. ‘Super telephoto’ is a term used to describe lenses with focal lengths of over 300mm. Such lenses enable photographers to capture close-up images of distant scenes and subjects, like sporting events and wildlife.
Apple’s current iPhones are already among the best camera phones on the market, but this ‘super-telephoto’ periscope camera would represent a potentially game-changing upgrade for the iPhone 16 Pro Max. For comparison, the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 5x telephoto zoom camera sports a focal length of up to 120mm, while the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 10x telephoto zoom camera sports a focal length of 230mm.
We've heard that both the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max might use thin molded glass for their telephoto cameras, which could help them fit extended zooms distances into a similar size.
Apple's iPhone 16 Pro models are rumored to get a 48MP ultra-wide camera, too, which would mark a big improvement over the 12MP ultra-wide camera currently used by the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The ultra-wide setup on Apple’s current best iPhones isn’t bad, by any means – the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max take consistently bright and vibrant wide-angle photos. However, this rumored 48MP ultra-wide lens on the iPhone 16 Pro should capture much more light, resulting in even more impressive low-light photos.
Indeed, both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max already boast a 48MP main camera that uses "pixel binning" technology to merge data from four pixels into one "super pixel” for improved low-light image capture, and this technology will presumably make its way into the iPhone 16 Pro’s rumored 48MP ultra-wide lens.
iPhone 16 possible features
- A17 Pro chipset likely for iPhone 16
- A18 Pro/Bionic chipset likely for Pro models
- Improved battery efficiency across the board
We haven’t heard all that much about the processors set to be used in the iPhone 16 line – except that Apple plans to change its chipset manufacturing process in 2024 – but we can make some fairly assured predictions based on typical Apple behavior.
Given that the standard iPhone 15 inherited the A16 Bionic chipset from the iPhone 14 Pro, and both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max got Apple's shiny new A17 Pro chipset, we’re fairly confident that the standard iPhone 16 will inherit the A17 Pro from the iPhone 15 Pro, while the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max get an as yet unnamed A18 Pro/Bionic.
Naturally, these chipsets will inevitably bring superior performance and longevity to the iPhone 16 line, but Apple’s processors have become so efficient in recent years that these upgrades are likely to appear negligible when it comes to real-world use. In any case, leakers have indeed suggested that the entire iPhone 16 range will be kitted out with 3nm chips, so an A17 Pro (or similar) seems a formality for the standard iPhone 16, at this point.
For RAM, one leak suggests that all four iPhone 16 models will have 8GB. That would be an upgrade for the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus, but no change for the Pro models.
However, the iPhone 16 Pro models might support Wi-Fi 7 and have a new 5G modem according to one leak, which would mean upgraded Wi-Fi and 5G speeds, which the standard iPhone 16 models wouldn't be able to match.
On the battery front, we haven’t yet heard much regarding the iPhone 16 line specifically, but since all four iPhone 15 models were rumored to come with a new stacked battery design – of the sort used in electric vehicles – we’re confident that this technology will instead be making its way into Apple’s 2024 iPhones.
In theory, stacked batteries can be more tightly packaged and offer a higher energy density than current mobile batteries, so the iPhone 16 series may offer serious battery life improvements over the iPhone 15 line.
That said, leaked images of an iPhone 16 Pro battery show a capacity of 3,355mAh, which is only slightly more than the 3,274mAh iPhone 15 Pro. These images also show a metal casing though, which could improve the thermal efficiency.
The iPhone 16 line might all include graphene heat sinks too, according to one source, with the Pro models additionally having a metal battery housing, as mentioned above. This in both cases is to help keep them cooler, so they can avoid the overheating issues of the iPhone 15 series.
Beyond that, we expect Apple to offer reverse wireless charging functionality across the entire iPhone 16 line.
Oh, and like the iPhone 15 line, every iPhone 16 model will sport a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port, thanks to new EU regulations that become legally binding in 2024.
We also expect AI to play a big role in the functionality of the iPhone 16 (especially when compared to previous-generation iPhones), while some degree of Apple Vision Pro integration seems inevitable, too. We haven’t yet heard much on either subject, though.
And lastly, Apple's iPhone 16 Pro models could get support for the Wi-Fi 7 standard, which would deliver faster speeds, lower latency and more reliable connectivity.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.