iPhone 16 Plus: Release date rumors, news, and more

iPhone 16 Plus
(Image credit: Future)

With 2023 and the iPhone 15 launch firmly in the rearview mirror, all eyes now turn to what Apple might have on its iPhone slate for 2024. 

In 2024 we're expecting Apple to unveil a new iPhone 16 Plus alongside its iPhone 16, as well as two further "Pro" models, following previous launches closely. Apple's "Plus" iPhone made a return to the lineup in 2022, following a long hiatus. Apple had introduced an iPhone "mini" with the iPhone 12, but by the time the iPhone 13 mini rolled around its clear the phone was not popular and it was canned the following year. The iPhone 14 marked the return of the "Plus", and the iPhone 15 Plus was one of the best models Apple announced last year. Like the regular iPhone, the "Plus" model features a slightly weaker display and chip compared to the Pro, but because of its larger chassis, the battery life is the best of any iPhone. 

We're expecting the iPhone 16 Plus to debut later this year, here's everything we know so far. 

iPhone 16 Plus: The headlines

  • What is it? The iPhone 16 Plus will be the next big-screen iPhone for non-Pro buyers.
  • Expected release date: September 2024.
  • Are there any surprises? It's unlikely that the iPhone 16 Plus will have many surprises, but the Action button will be a welcome addition.

iPhone 16 Plus: Release date rumors

Apple keeps its new product plans quiet for the most part, so it hasn't confirmed exactly when the iPhone 16 Plus will arrive. In fact, it hasn't said anything about it but that doesn't mean that it isn't coming.

Apple has a pretty strict release schedule for new iPhones with updated models arriving every September. That's expected to be the case for the iPhone 16 Plus as well as the rest of the new iPhone lineup. With that in mind, expect an unveiling in the first week or so of September 2024 with preorders kicking off the following Friday. If Apple follows its usual cadence we then expect the iPhone 16 Plus to go on sale the Friday after that.

In May it was reported that Apple would begin display production for its iPhone 16 lineup in June. 

iPhone 16 Plus: Display and size

iPhone 15 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

We aren't expecting any huge display changes this time out after Apple added the Dynamic Island with the iPhone 15 Plus. That means that we'll get a 6.7-inch display without 120Hz ProMotion or an always-on display, but that could well change.

As for the display itself, there have been rumors of a potential switch-up in OLED technology. The Elec reported a potential move to mico lens technology, allowing for a more energy-efficient display. But it isn't yet clear whether that will come to fruition, and things have gone quiet on that front.

Apple is expected to employ Border Reduction Structure technology to reduce the size of the bezels in its next iPhone. While the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max are expected to increase in size, there are no such reports for the iPhone 16 Plus. 

iPhone 16 Plus: Chip and specifications

A schematic of the A17 Pro chip from Apple

(Image credit: Apple)

No matter what Apple does, the iPhone 16 Plus is going to be a fast phone. The company doesn't make slow iPhones, and that's great news for buyers on a budget. As for what chip will power the iPhone 16 Plus, the consensus is that it will be called the Apple A18. 

With the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max both having the new A17 Pro chip, Apple's usual play would have been to move that chip down the lineup to the iPhone 16 in 2025, but that isn't expected to be the case based on reports to date.

If those reports are accurate it's expected that Apple will choose to give the iPhone 16 Plus a new chip, skipping the A17 lineup completely. If that happens, the lineup would see the A18 used in the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, according to analyst Jeff Pu

All of the 2024 chips are expected to use TSMC's N3E manufacturing process, making production cheaper than the A17 Pro's N3B process. But we're yet to hear much about what those chips will have to offer in terms of core counts and GPU performance, so we can expect to hear more about those things as we get closer to the launch.

It is also reported that Apple could upgrade the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus to 8GB of RAM, in line with the current iPhone 15 Pro models. 

iPhone 16 Plus: Camera

iPhone 15 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 15 Plus brought a notable camera upgrade with the arrival of a new 48-megapixel main sensor, and we've yet to hear anything about upgrades for the iPhone 16 Plus. That means that we can expect a main 48-megapixel camera to be joined by a 12-megapixel ultrawide and a 12-megapixel selfie camera.

But while the cameras themselves might not be changing, how they look might be.

@URedditor, a leaker who posts to the X social network, claims that the iPhone 16 Plus will gain a revised camera layout. The iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and iPhone 15 have camera lenses that are arranged in a diagonal configuration, but that's rumored to be changing to a vertical orientation like the one we last saw on the iPhone 12.

It's possible this could pave the way for filming spatial videos on iPhone 16 Plus, a feature currently limited to the Pro iPhone models. 

iPhone 16 Plus: Action and Capture button

An iPhone 15 Pro Max against an abstract multi-colored retro background.

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

Action button

Perhaps the biggest news for the iPhone 16 Plus is the suggestion that it will have a new button, borrowed straight from the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Similar to the button of the same name found on the Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2, it allows people to configure actions that can then be run by pressing a single hardware button.

There have already been multiple rumors that Apple intends to bring its Action button down the lineup. But notably, it's said that the Action button used across the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro families of devices won't be clicky. They'll supposedly be capacitive buttons and if that sounds familiar, it should. Apple was thought to be using capacitive buttons for the iPhone 15 Pro's Action button but that didn't happen. Now we're hearing the same rumor all over again.

Capture button

The Action button won't be the only new button, either. Dubbed the Capture button, the new iPhone is expected to feature a dedicated capacitive button for shooting photos and videos with the precision of a DSLR shutter. 

iPhone 16 Plus: Wi-Fi and connectivity

Apple will reportedly introduce Wi-Fi 6E to the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, another feature inherited from this year's Pro lineup. That would bring improved speeds and reliability to Wi-Fi browsing. Wi-Fi 7 is a rumored feature for the iPhone 16 Pro. 

iPhone 16 Plus: Price

The complete iPhone 15 lineup at Apple's Regent Street store in London, U.K.

(Image credit: Apple)

It's possible that Apple might choose to increase the price of the iPhone 16 Plus having not done so with the iPhone 15 Plus, but we've yet to hear rumors to that effect.

If the price stays the same, we can expect an $899 model to come with 128GB of storage and be available in a variety of colors. Expect to pay more for additional storage, however.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.