First iPhone 16 part leak reveals radical camera design change — Vertical camera configuration could pave the way for spatial video

iPhone 16 camera mockup
(Image credit: Majin Bu)

Recent rumors have suggested a big change is coming to the iPhone 16 camera, and a big leak may have just confirmed that. 

At the start of February, a mockup was released, showing that the iPhone 16 could have a vertical camera layout, much like that of the iPhone 12. Now, weeks later, Majin Bu, an infamous Apple researcher and leaker, has shown how the camera module will look on Apple’s upcoming iPhone. @URedditor, another well-known Apple leaker responded to this by saying ‘Cool leak but it’s upside down”, suggesting the bigger of the lenses is actually on the bottom. This follows the current design language of iPhones as it would mean the ultrawide lens is on the bottom. 

It seems like, if this is all true, the iPhone 16 line will have a much bigger focus on photography. Previously, a report came out suggesting that the iPhone 16 will come with a dedicated camera button for activating the camera quickly. Though one might assume the camera layout change is purely an aesthetic choice, there’s a much bigger reason behind it and it ties into Apple Vision Pro

Why the vertical camera layout is a big change

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Currently, the only iPhones capable of capturing spatial video are the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, thanks to their three-camera layout. Spatial video is a style of video that, on your iPhone, looks like a standard video but, on Apple Vision Pro, gives users the chance to fully feel the moment like they were there. This is one of the many things that make the iPhone 15 Pro Max the best iPhone right now. 

The reason only the Pro line can take spatial video is that the standard and ultrawide lenses shoot a video together horizontally to give depth on the screen, something not possible with a diagonal lens layout. For most users, the camera layout change on iPhone 16 will just be an aesthetic difference but, someone investing in Apple’s spatial headset will be able to shoot spatial video without the huge cost of a Pro model iPhone. Given Apple is discussing a cheaper Apple Vision model internally, this and the camera layout change could make spatial video much more accessible for potential customers.

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.