What treats might the iPhone 16 handsets have in store for us when they launch later this year? Well, a significant upgrade on one of the camera sensors is likely to be in the offing, according to one tipster with a decent track record when it comes to Apple predictions.
Digital Chat Station (via Wccftech) says the iPhone 16 Pro Max model is going to get an IMX903 sensor from Sony as part of its rear camera setup – and while it matches the IMX803 inside the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in terms of its 48-megapixel rating, it increases the sensor size from 1/1.28 inches to 1/1.14 inches.
That's not a massive jump in size, but it will mean more light can be captured by the sensor in a variety of scenarios, and that should lead to better photos and videos. The Sony IMX903 is also said to come with a couple of other important optimization technologies for improving camera capture quality on the 2024 iPhones.
The source behind the rumor (via Google Translate) promises "flagship imaging" and a "very powerful" camera module on the iPhone 16 Pro Max, and we're assuming that this main camera sensor is going to be included in the iPhone 16 Pro as well.
If the IMX903 sensor sounds familiar to you, that's because it was rumored to be arriving in the Pro models last year; in the end, however, Apple decided to stick with the 48MP Sony IMX803 that was also used in the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
While the camera upgrades we saw last year weren't huge, that could be changing this year. We've already heard rumors of upgrades to the ultrawide camera on some models, as well as a boost to the optical zoom range. Plus, if you've been waiting for the iPhone to get another button, that could be in the pipeline too.
Of course it's not just about the hardware upgrades – Apple will no doubt be working on improving its image optimization algorithms, making sure that whatever sensors end up packed inside the iPhone 16 phones, they can capture seriously impressive photos and videos.
If Apple sticks to its usual schedule we should see the iPhone 16 series launch sometime in September, with camera upgrades in tow – and we can expect plenty more leaks and rumors between then and now.
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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.