Apple wowed us with the iPhone 15 Pro in 2023, but we're already looking forward to the next big thing in Apple's smartphone lineup, the iPhone 16 Pro. Expected in September alongside the iPhone 16, the iPhone 16 Pro should retain its status as Apple's most impressive smartphone, with a handful of exclusive features reserved for the most premium model.
Apple releases one new iPhone a year, usually with a Pro and "non-Pro" variant. As it stands these both currently come in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch form factors. While designs are broadly similar, the "Pro" iPhone usually sports a more premium finish, more potent camera technology (including an extra lens), a faster processor, and a more powerful display with a higher refresh rate.
So what's in and what's out for 2024? Here's everything we know about iPhone 16 Pro.
iPhone 16 Pro: The headlines
- What is it? Apple's next premium flagship smartphone
- When can we expect it? September 2024
- Biggest new features: The iPhone 16 Pro could be about to gain a new button, a new chip, and a revamped display.
iPhone 16 Pro: Release date rumors
The iPhone 16 Pro's release date should fall in the usual September window alongside the iPhone 16. This is the pattern Apple has followed for several years now, save 2020 when it was delayed by the pandemic.
Apple usually hosts an event to unveil the new iPhone in early September, usually on a Tuesday. It then offers pre-orders the same week, usually on a Friday, with a release date the following week, again on a Friday.
An educated guess would see the iPhone 16 Pro unveiled on September 3 or September 10, with pre-orders on either September 5 or September 12 respectively. That would see the release tipped for either September 12 or September 19. These dates are just speculation, but there's no indication Apple will break with tradition here.
iPhone 16 Pro: Display
The iPhone 15 Pro has the latest display with support for not only the Dynamic Island but also a 120Hz variable refresh rate. It's that latter feature that allows for the Always-On display, something the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus aren't expected to have. But while none of that is expected to be much different from the iPhone 15 Pro, there is one change that has been rumored so far.
That change is a slightly larger display which will take the previous 6.1-inch display and expand it to a new 6.3-inch size. That larger display is also expected to bring with it slightly larger overall dimensions compared to the iPhone 15 Pro, something that might be a consideration for those who enjoyed the more svelte feel of the 2023 flagship model.
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.
One leak claims that Apple's display might build on the Dynamic Island by introducing a much smaller hole punch notch, however, we've also heard this feature is reserved for next year's iPhone.
iPhone 16 Pro: Chip and specifications
With the iPhone 15 Pro shipping with a brand-new 3nm A17 Pro chip inside, we can safely assume that Apple's replacement for that model will be called the A18 Pro. That's something that has been backed up by analyst Jeff Pu. He expects Apple to go with the A18 Pro naming next time out, choosing to give the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus use an equally-new A18.
If the rumors are true we can expect both chips to be built using TSMC's latest N3E manufacturing process, one that makes it cheaper to produce 3nm chips which makes for a better option for Apple. Specifications haven't yet leaked, but we can likely expect the GPU prowess to be the difference between the two chips to ensure the Pro iPhones are more performant when playing games.
Apple is looking ahead to using the 2nm process in future chips, but this is not expected to ship until 2025.
iPhone 16 Pro: Camera
If things go the way we've been told to expect, Apple is set to bring the 5x tetraprism telephoto lens from the iPhone 15 Pro Max down to the smaller iPhone 16 Pro. The slightly larger dimensions compared to the iPhone 15 Pro might be what made this possible, but however it happens the addition of an improved zoon capability will be a huge benefit for those who prefer smaller phones.
According to a rumor on Weibo, Apple may include a new 48-megapixel Ultrawide camera. This upgrade has also been reiterated by Ming-Chi Kuo, who reported on the upgrade at the start of 2024.
To date, no other camera upgrades have been leaked or reported but we're so early in the release cycle that we might learn more in the coming months.
iPhone 16 Pro: New buttons
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.
Recent rumors have suggested that Apple intends to change the Action button in 2024, doing away with the clicky physical button and replacing it with a new, capacitive one. That was rumored before the iPhone 15 Pro launched but Apple ultimately decided against it. If the reports are true, that's going to change next year. A capacitive button will not physically move but will instead use a Taptic Engine to mimic the feel of a click when pressed.
The newly redesigned Action button will be joined by another extra button if reports are true. Currently dubbed the Capture button, it isn't clear what the Capture button will do, nor whether it will actually ship. Apple can and does change its mind when designing future products and unless we hear more about this button closer to September 2024, it's possible this could be one feature that falls by the wayside.
While the Action Button will be entering its second year as an iPhone feature, reports indicate this isn't set to change at all.
iPhone 16 Pro: Wi-Fi and connectivity
According to one report, Apple will include Wi-Fi 7 in its iPhone 16 Pro lineup this year. This would enable faster and more reliable connectivity, with speeds up to four times that of its predecessor.
More recently, it has emerged that the iPhone 16 Pro will include Qualcomm's Snapdragon X75 modem for powerful 5G connectivity.
iPhone 16 Pro: Storage
Apple currently offers the iPhone 16 Pro in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options. According to one report, Apple may increase the iPhone 16 Pro's maximum storage to 2TB, with a commensurate price increase, of course.
iPhone 16 Pro: AI and Siri
With the explosion of AI and LLM in 2023, Apple is reportedly investing heavily into its own AI for 2024. Apple is expected to bring AI to its next generations of iPhone, powered by something called "deep learning." Apple is expected to focus heavily on on-device AI rather than server and cloud-based models.
It's possible Apple could incorporate this into its existing virtual assistant, Siri. But expect iOS 18 and iPhone 16 Pro to feature a heavy focus on AI.
iPhone 16 Pro: Pricing
Apple did not increase the price of the iPhone 15 Pro in 2023. However, it did remove the 128GB option for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, making the entry-point price more expensive. There's no indication Apple will change the current pricing model, which would see the iPhone 16 Pro start at $999. Here's the current pricing:
|Row 0 - Cell 0
|iPhone 15 Pro
|iPhone 15 Pro Max
iPhone 16 Pro: Colors
While we haven't heard much about iPhone 16 Pro's colors, a report in February claimed that Apple would introduce two new shades of titanium to the iPhone 16 Pro, 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.