The advent of 2024 also heralds the prospect of the brand-new iPhone 16, expected to debut in September of this year. If Apple sticks to its usual launch cycle, we can expect new flagships in the second half of this year, and the iPhone 16 is shaping up to be a pretty big deal.
So what will the iPhone 16 look like? Will it have a different design? Or any new features? What about pricing and storage? Details are scant ahead of official Apple announcements, but that doesn't mean we can piece together a good idea of what might be going into Apple's next iPhone.
While the iPhone 16 might not be as good as the iPhone 16 Pro or iPhone 16 Pro Max, it will definitely be the best iPhone for mainstream users the company has ever created. Here's what we know so far.
iPhone 16: The headlines
- What is it? The iPhone 16 will be next iPhone, the latest iteration in its winning formula.
- 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 is tipped to borrow the iPhone 15 Pro's best feature, making it a more pro-like device than ever.
iPhone 16: Release date rumors
Apple doesn't announce when its future products are going to be released because if it did, nobody would buy the ones that are already on sale. However, that doesn't mean that we can't make an educated guess as to when the iPhone 16 will go on sale.
If Apple follows its usual release schedule we can expect the iPhone 16 to be announced in the first week or so of September 2024. The same can of course be said for the iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max while there is still a chance that the rumored iPhone 16 Ultra will make an appearance, too.
If Apple does stick to its iPhone release pattern the iPhone 16 will go up for preorder on the following Friday after the unveiling and go on sale the Friday after that.
iPhone 16: Display
Unlike the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max, we aren't expecting any change in the screen sizes offered by the iPhone 16, meaning we should look for the same 6.1-inch display that we're all so familiar with.
In terms of the technology used in those displays, the Dynamic Island will be present while 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. It isn't yet clear whether that will come to fruition, though.
iPhone 16: Chip and specifications
With the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max both having the new A17 Pro chip, it could have been expected to move that chip down the lineup to the iPhone 16 in 2025, but that isn't expected to happen.
Instead, it's now thought that Apple will skip the A17 entirely and start to use new A18 chips next year. The lineup would see the A18 used in the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, according to analyst Jeff Pu. He expects Apple to ditch its staggered approach to iPhone chips and instead begin putting the base chip in the non-Pro iPhones and a new Pro chip in those with the Pro moniker.
All of the 2024 chips are expected to use TSMC's N3E manufacturing process, making production cheaper than the A17 Pro's N3B process. Details as to the core count and what under-the-hood differences the Pro and non-Pro chips will have are yet to leak, however.
iPhone 16: Wi-Fi and connectivity
The iPhone 16 is expected to feature all of the same 5G specs as the previously model. However, according to Jeff Pu, Apple will incorporate Wi-Fi 6E into the iPhone 16 for the first time later this year, a feature currently reserved for the iPhone 15 Pro models. To compensate, the iPhone 16 Pro could get even faster Wi-Fi 7.
iPhone 16: Storage
Apple currently offers the regular iPhone models in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB of storage. Earlier this year it was reported that the iPhone 16 lineup could feature QLC NAND SSD technology in the heftier 1TB model, which is a cheaper solution that could see improved SSD prices. However, it's possible the 1TB storage option will remain exclusive to the Pro models.
iPhone 16: Cameras
Buyers who want the very best iPhone cameras tend to lean towards the Pro models, but with the iPhone 15 Apple brought a 48-megapixel camera to the non-Pro lineup for the first time. That's expected to remain in place for the iPhone 16, with few details having made it into the public domain to suggest anything will change on that front. We still expect the same setup which means a 48-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide.
In terms of the selfie camera, that's likely to remain a 12-megapixel part unless something changes between now and launch day. That doesn't mean that there won't be any changes, though.
The base model iPhone 16 will have a vertical camera layout, as opposed to diagonal on iPhone 15. This will make the device instantly recognizable as the latest model.Currently, an iPhone 12-style design is in testing, though there is another design as well, same layout.May 22, 2023
X leaker @URedditor previously claimed that the iPhone 16 will feature a revised camera layout that will see the dual-lens system switch orientation. The iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and iPhone 15 have lenses in a diagonal configuration, but that's rumored to be changing to the vertical orientation we saw on the iPhone 12.
This could help Spatial Video recording, and the leak was most recently spotted again in iPhone 16 designs from MacRumors, which revealed the vertical orientation.
iPhone 16: Design
The iPhone 15 gave us an amazing new design with a beautiful frosted, matte back, as well as smoother edges. According to reports, Apple has considered a significant design change (pictured above) that might have seen a unified camera bump not unlike that of the old iPhone X.
One big change could come in the form of a vertical camera configuration, which might be a necessary tweak for spatial video, Apple's new immersive video format for Apple Vision Pro.
Apple reportedly tested a unified volume button for the iPhone 16, but may have scrapped this in favor of the current design.
iPhone 16: Action button and more
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 bring the Action button down the lineup, adding it to the iPhone 16 in 2024. However, this won't be the same Action button found in the iPhone 15 Pro models. Instead, rumors suggest that Apple is getting ready to ditch the clicky button, replacing it with a new touch-sensitive one. A similar button was rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro models earlier in 2023, but Apple ultimately decided against that approach. Now, it appears it might be ready to revisit it.
Not content with bringing the Action button to the iPhone 16, Apple is also rumored to be adding another button to the mix. Dubbed the Capture button, this will reportedly be used for capturing video on the iPhone 16 at the push of a button. This report was reiterated by The Information earlier this year, which again reported the iPhone 16 is getting a dedicated camera button with pressure sensitivity that can be used to dynamically change your zoom.
Our most recent iPhone 16 design leaks again point to this Action Button and a Capture button on the right-hand side of the device below the Lock button.
iPhone 16: Price
The iPhone 15 didn't bring with it a price hike which was a surprise to some. As Apple continues to add new features and technology, the cost of building these devices continues to increase. With that in mind, Apple may need to increase the price to compensate for the extra expense. However, rumors to that effect are yet to appear but that could change as we get closer to that expected September launch window.
Apple did not raise the price of its current iPhone 15 when it was unveiled last year, here's the current pricing mode:
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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.