iPhone 16 to get significant upgrade ahead of AI shift

Siri on iOS
(Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

A new report claims that Apple is planning to bring a “significant upgrade” to the microphone on iPhone 16, as the company lays the groundwork for an increased focus on artificial intelligence and large language models in the style of ChatGPT and beyond. 

Apple’s iPhone 16 is expected to debut in the usual September window next year, and one of the company’s big focuses for 2024 is reportedly its push to facilitate better AI capabilities, following the meteoric rise of tools such as ChatGPT. 

Building on previous reports, insider Ming-Chi Kuo has stated this week that "With artificial intelligence-generated content (AIGC) gaining significant popularity in 2023, it is not difficult to predict that the iPhone 16 will offer relevant innovative features.” 

Kuo notes that Apple recently reorganized its Siri team “to integrate AIGC/LLM,” and claims that voice input “will be the key interface for AI/AIGC/LLM on mobile smartphones.” To that end, every single iPhone next year is getting a big upgrade to facilitate that. 

Is this thing on?  

Kuo says “all iPhone 16 models will feature a significant upgrade in microphone specifications,” specifically better water resistance, and a better signal-to-noise ratio “to improve the Siri experience significantly.” The latter should hopefully make Siri more adept at hearing you through background noise, leading to more accurately heard questions, and then better answers. This sounds like a significant upgrade, with the parts for the iPhone 16 microphone reportedly being “at least” 100-150% more expensive than the current best iPhones, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro

Apple’s iPhone 16 will bring a few other upgrades too, including notable changes to the volume buttons and a new series of chips, likely branded A18. Before then, Apple is expected to unveil significantly boosted AI technology in iOS 18 and iPadOS 18. The company is reportedly spending “millions of dollars a day” on its own answer to ChatGPT

If that’s too long to wait, why not replace Siri with ChatGPT on your iPhone right now? 

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9