New iPhone 16 renders tease a familiar iPhone 12-style design

iPhone 12 on a lilac background
The iPhone 16 will reportedly look a lot like the iPhone 12 (above) (Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 16 is hotly tipped to inherit a key design feature from the iPhone 12, and we’ve now been given our first look at what this same-but-different iPhone could actually look like.

Apple rumor aggregator Apple Hub has shared (via X) a mock-up of the iPhone 16’s rear panel – created on the basis of iPhone 16 rumors gathered so far – and the phone in question bears obvious hallmarks of the iPhone X, iPhone 11 and iPhone 12.

Specifically, this rumored iPhone 16 sports a two-lens vertical camera layout, which replaces the diagonal setup used on every iPhone model since the iPhone 13. “It’s a mix of the iPhone X and 11,” Apple Hub writes, noting that the renders are presented in iPhone 15 colors because they “don’t know what [the iPhone 16 colors] will be yet.”

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Naturally, we can’t be sure of the accuracy of these iPhone 16 renders just yet, but they do align with leaked iPhone 16 schematics shared by serial iPhone leaker Majin Bu. What’s more, we first heard that the iPhone 16 might adopt an iPhone 12-style camera bump way back in May 2023, so we’re confident that Apple is, at the very least, testing this kind of iPhone 16 design. 

Should these design rumors prove accurate come September 2024, it wouldn’t be the first time that 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, harked back to the iPhone 11 by sporting slightly curved edges.

So, we shouldn’t be surprised by the potential return of an iPhone 12-style camera bump on the iPhone 16. But it does seem a little lazy on Apple’s part, especially since the rest of the phone will reportedly offer “no significant design changes.” That’s according to Apple tipster Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims – via his latest Medium post – that the lack of innovation on the iPhone 16 could contribute to a 15% sales decline for Apple in 2024.

Kuo’s assessment comes just weeks after the publication of a similar report from Barclays, which predicts that the iPhone 16 will be a total dud. “We see no features or upgrades that are likely to make the iPhone 16 more compelling,” the company writes. Ouch. 

By the sounds of things, then, the iPhone 16 could be one to skip this year. The rumors surrounding the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max are a little more promising, but don’t hold your breath for an industry-shaking new standard iPhone in 2024. 

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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.