The iPhone 16 Pro Max could have a much bigger battery, but Apple has one major issue to solve first

An iPhone 15 Pro Max against an abstract multi-colored retro background.
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

If you have found yourself running out of battery too quickly in even the best iPhones, a recent report may convince you to make the upgrade later this year — if Apple can solve a potential problem first. 

Ming-Chi Kuo, a reputable Apple insider has recently taken to his Medium account to post a report on the iPhone 16 Pro Max. In it, he says that the energy density of battery cells in the iPhone 16 Pro Max is due to receive an upgrade this year. This could go one of two ways: the better energy density could result in much better battery life or a much smaller physical battery providing the same battery life with room for other upgrades elsewhere. Given that the iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to be a larger 6.9-inch handset compared to the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Pro Max, the former seems much more likely.

As well as upgrading the energy density of battery cells, Kuo reports that Apple is planning on swapping to a stainless steel battery case from aluminum.

The new tech’s inclusion in the iPhone 16 Pro Max will be Apple’s first test with the battery technology. “If the mass production of this new battery design (upgraded energy density of battery cells & adoption of the stainless steel battery case) goes well and the feedback is favorable, this new battery design will be adopted in all 2H25 new iPhone models.”

A heating problem

I’ve had the iPhone 15 Pro Max since its launch in September 2023. Though it’s a very powerful device, I have noticed it getting hot when downloading large amounts of data or while playing the best iPhone games for extended periods of time. Apple using stainless steel could have an effect on the heat of the iPhone if not accounted for. Kuo says it “is not as effective as aluminum in dissipating heat, but it is more robust and less susceptible to corrosion.” Apple will do extensive testing of the new battery over the coming months. 

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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.