The iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to debut in September of 2024 alongside the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, and the iPhone 16 Pro. Its predecessor, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, delivered some hefty upgrades over the previous generation and remains the best iPhone money can buy today.
As such, we'd expected Apple to follow suit in making this year's Pro Max the biggest and best iPhone available. That will mean the biggest screen, the beefiest processor, and the best cameras of any iPhone to date.
With that in mind, here's everything we can expect from the iPhone 16 Pro Max.
iPhone 16 Pro Max: The headlines
- What is it? The iPhone 16 Pro will be the biggest and best iPhone of the year, the rumored iPhone 16 Ultra notwithstanding.
- When can we expect it? If Apple follows its usual release cycle we expect it to launch in September 2024.
- Are there any surprises? The iPhone 16 Pro Max could have the biggest display of any previous iPhone and have some button updates.
iPhone 16 Pro Max : Release date rumors
While we don't have a confirmed release date for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, common sense indicates Apple will launch the new phone in September, alongside the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, and iPhone 16 Pro. It usually hosts an event early in the month, with pre-orders on the following Friday, and a release date one week later.
iPhone 16 Pro Max: Display
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a large 6.7-inch display, but the rumors claim that Apple is getting ready to go bigger next time out, just as is the case with the iPhone 16 Pro.
According to those rumors, Apple will take the current 6.7-inch OLED panel and stretch it to a new, larger 6.9-inch size. It's expected that the display itself won't get any notable new features, but there have been tentative rumors of a switch to a more power-efficient display, with The Elec reporting that Apple may use micro-lens technology next time out. It remains to be seen if this will come to fruition, however.
iPhone 16 Pro Max: Chip and specifications
Apple's Pro iPhones are both expected to get upgraded chips, building on the 3nm A17 Pro that powers the current iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models. Analyst Jeff Pu expects that to mean that the iPhone 16 Pro Max will benefit from an upgraded 3nm chip that will carry the A18 Pro moniker.
If the rumors are true we can expect Apple to switch to TSMC's latest N3E manufacturing process, one that makes it cheaper to produce 3nm chips which makes for a better option for Apple. Details regarding core counts and clock speeds are yet to leak, but we can expect the new chips to be even more performant than the already very capable A17 Pro. If Apple is going to push forward with its gaming focus for the next Pro iPhones, new GPU improvements are to be expected.
iPhone 16 Pro Max: Cameras
With Apple set to bring the 5x tetraprism telephoto lens from the iPhone 15 Pro Max down to the smaller iPhone 16 Pro, the differentiation between the Pro and Pro Max models could be smaller in come September 2024.
There have been rumors of a new 48-megapixel ultrawide camera, upgraded from the 12-megapixel offered currently, while there is also the suggestion that the iPhone 16 Pro Max will gain a new telephoto lens that will allow for improved zoom quality, while there has been talk of a so-called "super zoom" feature that would allow for an increased focal length. Information is sparse, however, and we should expect to learn more in the coming months.
iPhone 16 Pro Max: Action and Capture Button
When Apple launched the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro they were the first models to gain the Action button. 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. By bringing that to the iPhone, Apple made it possible for people to more quickly launch apps, run shortcuts, and more.
Before those iPhones arrived there was a suggestion that the Action button would be capacitive, and now we're told that's going to be the case with the iPhone 16 Pro Max instead. Alongside the Action button, there are rumors of yet another button being added to the mix. That button is currently called the Capture button, but it isn't clear what the Capture button will do.
It's also important to remember that Apple's plans could well change before the new iPhones ship, so this might be one of those features that gets pushed back to 2025 or beyond.
iPhone 16 Pro Max: 5G and Connectivity
It's no secret that Apple has designs on ditching Qualcomm and using its own 5G modems in future iPhones, and there's always an outside chance that it could pull that off in time for the next iPhone. However, that seems more unlikely than ever right now, so expect the Qualcomm Snapdragon X75 to be used which should offer improved 5G download speeds and other improvements.
There are also rumors that Apple will introduce Wi-Fi 7 to the Pro iPhone lineup for 2024.
iPhone 16 Pro Max: Pricing
Apple's iPhone 15 Pro Max was a bit more expensive than the previous models because it comes with 256GB of storage as standard, rather than 128GB. If Apple sticks to this pricing model the iPhone 16 Pro Max would cost $1,199.
iPhone 16 Pro Max: Colors
Apple's iPhone 15 Pro Max comes in four titanium finishes. According to a February report, Apple will introduce two new shades, Desert Yellow and Cement Gray.
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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.
- Stephen WarwickNews Editor