Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup.
If you plan to skip this year's iPhone 16, or if you're just plain curious about what's on the horizon, here are six rumored features that we are expecting to arrive in time for its successor, the iPhone 17 series, which is likely to be released in September 2025.
1. Under-Display Face ID
The iPhone 17 Pro is expected to be the first iPhone to feature under-panel Face ID technology. The only external indication of the under-display Face ID technology will likely be a circular cutout for the front-facing camera. This will probably be Apple's last premium model to include a circular cutout for the front-facing camera. Apple is then expected adopt under-display cameras in 2027's "Pro" iPhone models for a true "all-screen" appearance.
2. Larger Standard Devices
This year's iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max are rumored to be getting bigger display sizes, going from 6.12- and 6.69-inches to 6.27- and 6.86-inches, respectively. With the iPhone 17 and iPhone 17 Plus in 2025, Apple is expected to also bring the larger 6.27- and 6.86-inch display sizes to its two standard iPhone models. As a result, expect the entire iPhone 17 lineup to use a taller aspect ratio of 19.6:9, suggesting the devices will be slightly taller, rather than wider.
3. 120Hz ProMotion (Always-on Display)
Apple intends to expand ProMotion to its standard models in 2025, allowing them to ramp up to a 120Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling and video content when necessary. Notably, ProMotion would also enable the display on the iPhone 17 and iPhone 17 Plus to ramp down to a more power-efficient refresh rate as low as 1Hz, allowing for an always-on display that can show the Lock Screen's clock, widgets, notifications, and wallpaper even when the device is locked.
4. Apple-Designed Wi-Fi 7 Chip
Apple's premium 2025 models are expected to be equipped with an Apple-designed Wi-Fi 7 chip for the first time. Wi-Fi 7 support would allow the "Pro" models to send and receive data over the 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands simultaneously with a supported router, resulting in faster Wi-Fi speeds, lower latency, and more reliable connectivity. The Wi-Fi chip would also allow Apple to further reduce its dependance on external suppliers like Broadcom, which currently supplies Apple with a combined Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip for iPhones.
5. 48MP Telephoto Lens
An upgraded 48-megapixel Telephoto lens on Apple's largest premium device is expected to be optimized for use with Apple's upcoming Vision Pro headset, which launches on February 2, 2024. (The current iPhone 15 Pro models feature 48-megapixel main, 12-megapixel ultra wide, and 12-megapixel telephoto lenses.) That would make 2025's "Pro Max" the first iPhone to have a rear camera system composed entirely of 48-megapixel lenses, making it capable of capturing even more photographic detail.
6. 24MP Selfie Camera
The iPhone 17 lineup will feature a 24-megapixel front-facing camera with a six-element lens, according to one rumor. The iPhone 14 and 15 feature a 12-megapixel front-facing camera with five plastic lens elements, and this year's iPhone 16 lineup is expected to feature the same hardware. The upgraded resolution to 24 megapixels on the iPhone 17 will allow photos to maintain their quality even when cropped or zoomed in, while the larger number of pixels will capture finer details. The upgrade to a six-element lens should also slightly enhance image quality.