iPhone 16 battery rumor teases good news for the Pro Max, but bad news for the Plus

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(Image credit: Future / Apple)

It's only February, but the iPhone 16 rumors are arriving in earnest. We recently reported that Apple’s next standard model could feature an iPhone 12-style camera setup, and now we’re hearing that several iPhone 16 models could be in line for battery changes, too.

According to serial Apple tipster Majin Bu (via X), the iPhone 16 will feature a 6% larger battery than the iPhone 15 (3,561mAh vs 3,349 mAh), while the iPhone 16 Pro Max will feature a 5% larger battery than the iPhone 15 Pro Max (4,676mAh vs 4,422mAh).

Bu has “not been able to obtain information on the Pro model for the moment,” but the tipster does write that the iPhone 16 Plus – in stark contrast to its siblings – will feature a 9% smaller battery than the iPhone 15 Plus

These figures are of course subject to change – the iPhone 16 line isn’t expected to arrive until September 2024, after all – but they do hint at potential battery life increases for the standard iPhone 16 and its supersized Max sibling, which will reportedly be taller and narrower than its predecessor

The iPhone 16 Pro looks set for similar (if not the same) aspect ratio changes, so it figures that both of Apple’s upcoming Pro phones could benefit from improved battery life credentials.

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The news is less brilliant for the iPhone 16 Plus, whose predecessor wowed us with best-in-class battery life. In our iPhone 15 Plus review, we described Apple’s latest mid-ranger as an “everlasting showstopper” that “goes big on battery and brawn,” so it seems odd that Apple might be willing to risk the key selling point of the iPhone 16 Plus by equipping it with a smaller battery.

That aforementioned camera bump reshuffle could have something to do with the change; the iPhone 16 Plus, like the standard iPhone 16, is tipped to sport a two-lens vertical camera layout which could impact the positioning of its battery. But if that was the case, the standard iPhone 16 would be affected, too; instead, that phone is reportedly in line for a larger battery.

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At present, then, we’re a little flummoxed. Perhaps the iPhone 16 Plus will offer some space-eating features that the standard iPhone 16 doesn’t? If so, it would be the first time that Apple has differentiated its non-Pro iPhones beyond screen and battery size.

Interestingly, both the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus are rumored to be getting the same chipset as their Pro-level counterparts (likely to be the A18 Bionic), which has never happened before. If that turns out to be true, Apple will have to differentiate its latest iPhones in other ways this year, so we could be set for the most interesting – or at least the most varied – iPhone lineup for some time.

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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.