iPhone 16: The 20 Most Talked-About Rumors

With much of the tech industry's focus recently taken up by Apple's Vision Pro headset, you'd be forgiven for thinking that iPhone rumors have been few and far between over the last few months. Fortunately, that's not the case. Rumors and leaks about the iPhone 16 series continue to surface, and taken together, Apple's next-generation 2024 smartphone lineup looks like it could turn out to be a major upgrade.

iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature
To bring you up to speed, we've summarized below the biggest iPhone 16 rumors we've covered so far here on MacRumors. For more details, follow the links, or dive into our dedicated roundups for both iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro models, which are expected to arrive in September.

1. Larger Displays

Biggest Ever iPhones

This year's iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max are rumored to be getting bigger display sizes, increasing to 6.27- and 6.86-inches, respectively. For comparison, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are equipped with 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays, respectively. The new display sizes would be the largest ever for the iPhone.

2. Vertical Camera Layout

iPhone 16 & iPhone 16 Plus

Apple's iPhone 16 base models will feature a vertical camera arrangement with a pill-shaped raised surface, instead of a diagonal camera arrangement like the iPhone 15. The new camera bump features two separate camera rings for the Wide and Ultrawide cameras. The vertical camera layout is expected to enable Spatial Video recording, which is currently limited to the iPhone 15 Pro models.

3. Battery Changes

All iPhone 16 Models

One rumor suggests the ‌iPhone 16‌ and iPhone 16 Pro Max will feature larger batteries than their predecessors, but the ‌iPhone 16‌ Plus may have reduced capacity. The iPhone 16 is said to have a 6% increase over the iPhone 15, with the iPhone 16 Pro Max gaining a 5% increase. In contrast, the iPhone 16 Plus is rumored to have a 9% reduction in capacity. On the other hand, Apple could also potentially use stacked battery technology to increase energy density and prolong lifespan.

4. Capture Button

New Camera Capabilities

All iPhone 16 models will have a new "Capture Button" dedicated to triggering image or video capture. The button will add features like the ability to zoom in and out by swiping left and right on the button, focus on a subject with a light press, and activate a recording with a more forceful press. The Capture Button will be located on the bottom right side of the ‌iPhone 16, and will take the place of the mmWave antenna on U.S. ‌iPhone‌ models, with the antenna relocating to the left side of the device below the volume and Action buttons.

5. Ultra Wide Lens Upgrade

iPhone 16 Pro & iPhone 16 Pro Max

The iPhone 16 Pro models are expected to feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Ultra Wide camera lens, which should allow it to capture more light, resulting in improved photos when shooting in 0.5× mode, especially in low-light environments. This also means that iPhone 16 Pro models should be able to shoot 48-megapixel ProRAW photos in Ultra Wide mode. These photos retain more detail in the image file for more editing flexibility, and can be printed at large sizes.

5. Super Telephoto Camera

iPhone 16 Pro Max

The iPhone 16 Pro Max could be the first to feature a super telephoto periscope camera for dramatically increased optical zoom. "Super" or "ultra" telephoto usually describes cameras with a focal length of over 300mm. The current telephoto lens is equivalent to a 77mm lens, so if accurate, there could be a notable increase in zoom capabilities. Super telephoto cameras are often used for sports and wild animal photography, but the extremely soft backgrounds they create also make them useful for portrait photography, providing there is enough distance between the subject and the photographer.

6. Faster Wi-Fi Support

Wi-Fi 6E & Wi-Fi 7

Apple's 2024 iPhone Pro models are expected to get Wi-Fi 7 in the Pro models, enabling data transfer over the 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands simultaneously. This should result in faster Wi-Fi speeds, lower latency, and more reliable connectivity. With technologies such as 4K QAM, Wi-Fi 7 is also expected to offer peak data transfer speeds of over 40 Gbps, a 4× increase over Wi-Fi 6E. Meanwhile, the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus is rumored to support Wi-Fi 6E, which works with the 6 GHz band, enabling faster wireless speeds and reduced signal interference.

7. New AXX Series Chips

A17 & A18 Pro Variants

Apple's next-generation A18 Pro chip is expected to be manufactured with TSMC's second-generation 3nm process, known as N3E. All four iPhone 16 models will be equipped with A18-branded chips, according to one rumor. Meanwhile, another rumor counter-claims that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will have A17 chips made using a different manufacturing process to the A17 Pro in the iPhone 15 Pro. The ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌'s A17 Pro chip is fabricated using TSMC's N3B process, but Apple reportedly plans to switch to the lower-cost N3E process for next year's standard A17 chip designed for the ‌iPhone 16‌ and ‌iPhone 16‌ Plus.

8. 5G Qualcomm Modem

iPhone 16 Pro & iPhone 16 Pro Max

Apple is expected to use Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon X75 modem in this year's Pro and Pro Max models. The Snapdragon X75 includes improved carrier aggregation and other technology advancements for faster 5G download and upload speeds compared to the X70, which is used in iPhone 15 models. The modem's combined mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G transceiver also takes up 25% less circuit board space, and is said to use up to 20% less power. The standard iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus are expected to retain the Snapdragon X70 modem.

9. Tetraprism Lens

iPhone 16 Pro

Both iPhone 16 Pro models are expected to feature 5x optical zoom, which is currently exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple's tetraprism lens system has a "folded" design that allows it to fit inside the smartphone, enabling up to 5x optical zoom and up to 25x digital zoom. In contrast, the current smaller iPhone 15 Pro is limited to up to 3x optical zoom, which is in line with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

10. Micro-Lens Technology

More Efficient OLED

Apple is said to be weighing up the use of micro-lens technology to maintain or increase the brightness of OLED displays on next year's iPhone 16 models while potentially reducing their power consumption. MLA works by using a uniform pattern of billions of lenses inside the panel that reduces internal reflections. These lenses turn the path of light reflected backwards from the inside of the panel towards the screen, which can serve either to increase perceived brightness while maintaining the same level of power consumption, or maintain brightness levels while consuming less power compared to conventional OLED panels at the same luminance.

11. Action Button

iPhone 16 & iPhone 16 Plus

The iPhone 15 Pro models include an Action Button, and in 2024, the Action Button is expected to be expanded to the standard iPhone 16 models. The Action Button used across the iPhone 16 lineup will be identical to the iPhone 15 Pro Action Button. The Action button, which replaces the traditional mute switch, can perform multiple functions such as activating the Flashlight, turning on the Camera, launching a Shortcut, enabling or disabling a Focus mode, using Translate, turning on/off Silent Mode, and more.

12. Generative AI

Large Language Models

With iOS 18, Apple is rumored to be introducing new features powered by large language models (LLMs), although additional cutting-edge generative AI features could be limited to the iPhone 16 models. Apple is developing a large array of features that use generative AI, including a smarter version of Siri, improved interactions between Siri and the Messages app, auto-generated Apple Music playlists, integration with productivity apps for AI-assisted content creation, and more.

13. Upgraded Microphone

Enhanced Siri

Apple is said to be planning a significant upgrade to the iPhone 16 microphone to improve the new AI-enhanced Siri experience. Apple's Siri AI ambitions will heavily rely on improved voice input processing, and the new mic is expected to offer significantly enhanced signal-to-noise ratio.

14. New Thermal Design

Reduced Heat

Apple is rumored to be working on a graphene thermal system for the ‌iPhone 16‌ lineup, while the ‌iPhone 16‌ Pro models could add metal battery casings to reduce overheating. Graphene has high thermal conductivity, surpassing that of copper, which is currently used in iPhone heat-sinks. Apple has been filing patents related to using graphene for thermal management for some time. The move could be in response to widely encountered overheating issues experienced with the iPhone 15 Pro, which Apple addressed through a software update.

15. Expanded Storage

Both iPhone 16 Pro Models

The iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available with double the maximum storage capacity as the iPhone 15 Pro models, increasing from 1TB to 2TB, according to one rumor. The move is said to be a result of Apple's switch to higher-density Quad-Level Cell (QLC) NAND flash for higher storage models. Apple's use of QLC NAND could allow Apple to fit more storage into a smaller space and it is less expensive than Triple-Level Cell (TLC) NAND, which current iPhones use. On the downside, QLC has comparatively slower read and write speeds.

16. Increased Memory

iPhone 16 & iPhone 16 Plus

Apple's iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus models have been rumored to both feature 8GB of RAM, an increase over the 6GB of RAM in the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. More working memory should equate to improved performance for multitasking on the iPhone.

17. Upgraded Neural Engine

Enhanced Machine Learning

Apple's next-generation A18 chips will feature an upgraded Neural Engine with "significantly" more cores, according to one Taiwanese report. An upgraded Neural Engine would improve performance for AI and machine learning tasks. It has been rumored that some generative AI features could be exclusive to iPhone 16 models, and the upgraded Neural Engine could be a reason why. Apple's iPhone 12 through iPhone 15 models all include a 16-core Neural Engine. Despite no difference in core counts across generations, Apple has still manages to improve their performance in successive models.

18. Ultra-Thin Bezel Technology

Maximized Display Size

Apple plans to maximize the display size on the iPhone 16 series by using a new ultra-thin bezel technology, according to one rumor. Apple will use Border Reduction Structure (BRS) technology to minimize the bezel at the bottom of the display. BRS achieves this by rolling up the internal copper wiring into a more compact package. Apple reportedly plans to apply the borderless display technology to all four iPhone 16 models.

19. New Polished Titanium Finish

iPhone 16 Pro & iPhone 16 Pro Max

Apple will use an improved finishing process for the titanium chassis on the iPhone 16 Pro models, according to one rumor. The new process will allegedly make the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max look more polished than the iPhone 15 Pro models, which have a brushed finish. The improved manufacturing process will result in a glossy appearance that is more akin to the heavily polished stainless steel material used in previous Pro iPhones. However, the new titanium finish will be less prone to scratches compared to stainless steel.

20. Reduced Lens Flare

Less Photo Artifacts

Apple is said to be testing a new anti-reflective optical coating technology for its iPhone cameras that could improve the quality of photos by reducing artifacts like lens flare and ghosting. Apple plans to bring new atomic layer deposition (ALD) equipment into the iPhone camera lens manufacturing process to apply the coating. ALD-applied materials can also protect against environmental damage to the camera lens system without affecting the sensor's ability to capture light effectively.

Related Roundups: iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro

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