The iPhone 16 will reportedly steal a key design feature from the iPhone 12

Apple iPhone 12 in purple
The iPhone 12 (above) was released in November 2020 (Image credit: Apple)

Apple is expected to debut its iPhone 15 line in September, but that hasn’t stopped leakers from speculating about next year’s iPhone 16 series.

We’ve already reported on rumors hinting that the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max could be the biggest iPhones yet, and new CAD images obtained by 9to5Mac corroborate that suggestion. Now, though, we’re also hearing that the base iPhone 16 could borrow a key design feature from the iPhone 12 line.

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.

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Despite the rumored addition of a 48MP main lens on the base iPhone 15, Apple’s next vanilla flagship will reportedly stick with the same camera arrangement as the iPhone 14, so it figures that the company could shake-up the appearance of the iPhone 16 by, well, going back to what it knows.

Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time Apple has looked to its own product history for design inspiration. The company had seemingly abandoned the iPhone 4’s straight-sided aesthetic with the iPhone 6, before returning to it with the iPhone 12. The iPhone 15, meanwhile, will reportedly be reminiscent of the iPhone 11 by having slightly curved edges (see the images below). 

It should also go without saying that the iPhone 16 won’t use the same cameras as the iPhone 12. The latter uses two 12MP main shooters, and although the iPhone 14 likewise employs that now-outdated setup, the aforementioned 48MP main lens expected to arrive on the iPhone 15 will surely make its way to the iPhone 16, too.

As for what other features the iPhone 16 could introduce, we’re expecting the phone – or its Pro-level siblings, at least – to sport solid-state (i.e. haptic) volume and power buttons. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra were widely rumored to get solid-state buttons, but Apple analysts recently poured water on those claims, adding that the feature is more likely to arrive with the iPhone 16 line owing to its technological complexity.

In addition to solid-state power buttons, the iPhone 16 Pro will reportedly get a periscope lens and a larger display, too, which has pretty much killed our excitement for the iPhone 15 Pro.

In other words, the iPhone 16 Pro could be a smaller (and potentially cheaper) version of the much-rumored iPhone 15 Ultra, which is expected to arrive this year in place of an iPhone 15 Pro Max. We’ll have to wait until September for confirmation of that phone’s existence, though, so stay tuned to TechRadar for the latest news on what is likely to be this year’s hottest smartphone launch. 

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

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.