Fresh iPhone 16 leak offers more evidence of an iPhone 12-style camera revamp

iPhone 12 in white, front and back
Remember the iPhone 12 design? It seems Apple does (Image credit: Apple)

As far as the design of the rear camera on the iPhone 16 is concerned, the rumors are only pointing in one direction: towards a vertically stacked alignment for two camera lenses, in the style of the iPhone 12. Now there's another leak to put on the same pile.

Well-known tipster Majin Bu (via MacRumors) has posted what are claimed to be camera lens molds together with a mockup of the back of the iPhone 16 – and once again the two rear-camera lenses are shown on top of each other.

Have a look around the back of an iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus, and you'll see the 48MP and 12MP cameras are arranged in a diagonal pattern, with the flash and microphone also visible on a slightly raised, square camera bump.

We've not seen the cameras stacked like this on the back of an iPhone since the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini, which were launched alongside each other in October 2020 – so it seems increasingly likely that the older design is coming back.

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Going spatial

One of the reasons for the switch is rumored to be so that the iPhone 16 and the iPhone 16 Plus will be able to record spatial video, the 3D-ish video format that Apple introduced with iOS 17.2 on the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

These videos give you a more immersive feel by recording from two slightly different angles – using two camera lenses – at the same time. The only catch is that you need an Apple Vision Pro to be able to get the 3D effect when they're being played back.

Having the feature on all four iPhone 16 models would open the format up to a wider audience, and maybe shift a few more Vision Pros at the same time. At this point though, the only rumors we've heard around camera upgrades (rather than camera positions) have been related to the iPhone 16 Pro.

Apply the usual caution when weighing up this latest leak: there's no guarantee that the information is fully accurate, and even if it is, Apple may make some tweaks to the iPhone 16 design between now and September.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.