NewsTechonologyTrending News

iPhone 16: release date speculation, latest leaks, price predictions and more

iPhone 16: release date speculation, latest leaks, price predictions and more

The iPhone 16 line isn’t expected to arrive until 2024, but that hasn’t stopped leakers from sharing early information about the standard iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max (which may end up being called the iPhone 16 Ultra).

Apple officially unveiled the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in September 2023, so although we’re pretty much an entire year away from seeing the company’s 2024 iPhones, we’ve now got a better idea of what to expect from the iPhone 16 and its siblings.

Below, you’ll find our one-stop guide to all the latest news, rumors and predictions surrounding the iPhone 16 line. We’ll be updating this article in the months to come, too, so check back regularly for the freshest iPhone 16 info.

Latest leaks

iPhone 16 release date speculation

  • Likely to launch in the first half of September 2024
  • The shipping date will probably be a week or so later

It goes without saying, but since Apple has only just released the iPhone 15 line, we can’t know exactly when the iPhone 16 line will arrive. That said, we can make some predictions based on past Apple form.

If the company sticks to tradition, we expect Apple to announce the release date for the iPhone 16 at the 2024 edition of its annual September launch event. We’re unlikely to learn the actual date of that event until sometime in August 2024, however we can use the dates of bygone Apple events to predict when next year’s Apple event might take place, and therefore when the iPhone 16 could hit shelves.

Apple generally picks the first or second week of September for its annual iPhone launches, and usually opts for a Tuesday, though occasionally the company goes for a Wednesday. The 2023 (read: iPhone 15) edition of Apple’s September event fell on September 12, with all four of the iPhone 15 models announced at the time going on sale just over a week later, on September 15.

That means September 3 or 10 are quite likely launch days for the iPhone 16 in 2024 (both dates are Tuesdays), though September 4 and 11 are possibilities, too. As with the iPhone 15, the iPhone 16 will probably begin shipping a week after pre-orders go live.

iPhone 16 price predictions

Apple iPhone 15

The iPhone 15 starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,499 (Image credit: Apple)
  • iPhone 15 pricing could hint at iPhone 16 pricing

Apple’s cheapest iPhone 15 model, the standard iPhone 15, starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,499, while its most expensive, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, starts at $1,199 / £1,399 / AU$2,099.

These figures could be mimicked by the iPhone 16 line, however some analysts predict that the iPhone 16 could actually be cheaper than the iPhone 15. This is because Apple reportedly plans to switch the process it uses to manufacture iPhone chipsets at some point next year, which could impact iPhone prices for the end consumer.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that Apple may debut its first Ultra-branded iPhone in 2024. Initially, rumors purported that an iPhone 15 Ultra would be replacing the iPhone 15 Pro Max this year, but that didn’t happen, and analysts now predict that an iPhone 16 Ultra will debut next year, instead.

It’s not yet clear whether this Ultra iPhone would arrive in addition to or instead of an iPhone 16 Pro Max, but it is almost certain that Apple’s first Ultra iPhone will be the most expensive iPhone ever

iPhone 16 possible screen sizes

iPhone 15 Pro Max held in a hand

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the largest iPhone currently available (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • Larger displays, new aspect ratio for Pro models
  • Standard model likely to remain 6.1 inches

When it comes to screen sizes, we’ve heard rumors that the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max could be the biggest iPhones yet.

Specifically, serial Apple tipster Ross Young claims that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Ultra (or iPhone 16 Pro Max, as it may be called) will boast 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch screens, respectively, with both phones getting a new 19.6:9 aspect ratio, too. This would make them the tallest and narrowest iPhones ever.

These 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch sizes have now been backed up by a second report. For reference, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max use 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screens, respectively, with every iPhone 15 model sporting an aspect ratio of 19.5:9.

The below mock-ups – created by 9to5Mac – illustrate just how much taller and narrower the iPhone 16 Ultra will appear versus the equivalent model in the iPhone 15 series.

iPhone 15 Ultra vs iPhone 16 Ultra size comparision

The iPhone 16 Pro Max/Ultra will reportedly be taller and narrower than its iPhone 15 equivalent (Image credit: 9to5Mac)

Why might Apple be thinking about beefing up its already-beefy iPhones? Well, these larger iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Ultra screen sizes will supposedly make room for some serious camera upgrades (more on these later).

Ross Young notes that the standard iPhone 16 will stick with the same 19.5:9 aspect ratio as today’s best iPhones, though these dimension changes will potentially trickle down to the iPhone 17 and iPhone 17 Plus in 2025. 

Beyond the sizes, the iPhone 16 line might have brighter screens than their predecessors – at least when viewed from the front. Apple is reportedly considering incorporating tech that would allow for this, while also being more power efficient, so battery life might be improved.

However, this would increase the production costs of the phones, and would reportedly make the screen seem less bright when viewed from the side, so it wouldn’t be a complete upgrade.

iPhone 16 design rumors

The iPhone 15 from the front and back

The iPhone 15 from the front and back (Image credit: Apple)
  • Standard iPhone 16 rumored to sport iPhone 11-style camera layout
  • Face ID components could be hidden under the screen
  • Every model could feature a new ‘Capture’ button

We haven’t heard too many iPhone 16 design rumors so far, but there are a handful of predictions already out in the wild.

The first refers to the arrangement of Face ID components on the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and South Korean outlet The Elec report that both phones will have their Face ID components hidden under the screen, similar to how many of the best Android phones now have under-display fingerprint scanners. This won’t completely eliminate the selfie camera cut-out – as the sensor itself will reportedly still be visible – but it could allow Apple to reduce its size down to a small punch-hole module. 

The Elec claims that this design change will simply act as a stopgap for Apple, whose ultimate goal is to develop a completely uninterrupted, cut-out-less iPhone display.

iPhone 14 Pro Max review Dynamic Island music small

The Face ID camera (above) might be hidden on the iPhone 16 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The second iPhone 16 design rumor refers to the standard iPhone 16, exclusively. According to Twitter leaker @URedditor, the iPhone 16 will sport a vertical camera layout, rather than the diagonal setup used on every iPhone since the iPhone 13. “This will make the device instantly recognizable as the latest model” in 2024, @URedditor writes.

The standard iPhone 15 sticks with the same camera arrangement as the iPhone 14 – albeit with the addition of a 48MP main lens – so it figures that Apple could shake-up the appearance of the iPhone 16 by, well, going back to what it knows.

The third (and most interesting) iPhone 16 design rumor we’ve heard so far applies to every model in the lineup. According to sources familiar with the development of the iPhone 16 line, Apple’s next smartphones will feature an additional, capacitive button, known internally as the “Capture” button. The source gives no hint as to the purpose of this new button, but its name suggests that it could somehow relate to the iPhone 16’s camera functionality.

Two iPhone 14 Pro phones on a blue background

The iPhone 16 will reportedly feature a new button below the power button (Image credit: Apple)

Unlike mechanical buttons, capacitive (or solid-state) buttons don’t move when pressed. Instead, they feature haptic engines that provide physical feedback (read: vibrations). The Home button on the iPhone SE (2022) is a capacitive button, as are the trackpads on newer MacBook models, so it’s safe to expect that this new “Capture” button will feel similar to the touch.

Early on in the iPhone 15 rumor cycle, the iPhone 15 Pro was tipped to be getting capacitive volume and power buttons. Then, in April 2023, Apple reportedly u-turned on its decision to include capacitive buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro, with the company reportedly needing more time to develop the haptic engines required to power them. Now, it looks like these capacitive buttons will indeed be debuting on the iPhone 16 line, albeit in the form of an entirely new button, rather than redesigned volume and power buttons.

iPhone 16 camera rumors

iPhone 15 Pro Max

The rear camera array of the iPhone 15 Pro Max (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • 12MP telephoto sensor is a possibility for standard model
  • Periscope lens for both Pro models
  • ‘Super-telephoto’ periscope lens rumored for Pro Max
  • 48MP ultra-wide camera rumored, too

On the topic of cameras, the standard iPhone 16 could sport the same 48MP main and 12MP ultra-wide dual-sensor setup as the iPhone 15, but we’d like to see the phone inherit the iPhone 14 Pro’s 12MP telephoto sensor, too.

As usual, the more meaningful camera upgrades are likely destined for the iPhone 16 Pro, iPhone 16 Pro Max and/or iPhone 16 Ultra. Indeed, the iPhone 16 Pro could be the first mid-sized iPhone with a periscope zoom lens – a feature that’s currently exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in 2023. 

We’ve heard this rumor a few times now, with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claiming as recently as September 2023 that the iPhone 16 Pro will inherit the ‘tetraprism’ periscope camera technology used by the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Periscope cameras – which get their name from their similarity to the instrument used on submarines and other naval vessels – essentially allow the viewer to zoom to extreme lengths while maintaining image quality. In the limited space of a phone’s camera module, a periscope camera uses mirrors to allow for more lens elements, and therefore a longer zoom length – not to mention it can be mounted transversely.

As mentioned in the display section of this article, the larger 6.3-inch screen size of the iPhone 16 Pro will supposedly accommodate this inevitably hefty periscope camera.

Mockup of an iPhone equipped with a periscope camera

Mockup of an iPhone equipped with a periscope camera (Image credit: MacRumors)

The addition of a periscope zoom lens on the iPhone 16 Pro won’t necessarily bring parity between the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max (or iPhone 16 Ultra), however.

Indeed, reports suggest that this supersized 6.9-inch iPhone could get what’s known as a ‘super-telephoto’ periscope camera. ‘Super telephoto’ is a term used to describe lenses with focal lengths of over 300mm. Such lenses enable photographers to capture close-up images of distant scenes and subjects, like sporting events and wildlife.

Apple’s current iPhones are already among the best camera phones on the market, but this ‘super-telephoto’ periscope camera would represent a potentially game-changing upgrade for the iPhone 16 Pro Max. For comparison, the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 5x telephoto zoom camera sports a focal length of up to 120mm, while the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 10x telephoto zoom camera sports a focal length of 230mm.

Apple’s iPhone 16 Pro models are rumored to get a 48MP ultra-wide camera, too, which would mark a big improvement over the 12MP ultra-wide camera currently used by the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The ultra-wide setup on Apple’s current best iPhones isn’t bad, by any means – the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max take consistently bright and vibrant wide-angle photos. However, this rumored 48MP ultra-wide lens on the iPhone 16 Pro should capture much more light, resulting in even more impressive low-light photos.

Indeed, both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max already boast a 48MP main camera that uses “pixel binning” technology to merge data from four pixels into one “super pixel” for improved low-light image capture, and this technology will presumably make its way into the iPhone 16 Pro’s rumored 48MP ultra-wide lens.

iPhone 16 possible features

iPhone 14 Pro Max review front straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • A17 Pro chipset likely for iPhone 16
  • A18 Pro/Bionic chipset likely for Pro models
  • Improved battery efficiency across the board

We haven’t heard all that much about the processors set to be used in the iPhone 16 line – except that Apple plans to change its chipset manufacturing process in 2024 – but we can make some fairly assured predictions based on typical Apple behavior.

Given that the standard iPhone 15 inherited the A16 Bionic chipset from the iPhone 14 Pro, and both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max got Apple’s shiny new A17 Pro chipset, we’re fairly confident that the standard iPhone 16 will inherit that latter processor from the iPhone 15 Pro, while the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max get an as yet unnamed A18 Pro/Bionic.

Naturally, these chipsets will inevitably bring superior performance and longevity to the iPhone 16 line, but Apple’s processors have become so efficient in recent years that these upgrades are likely to appear negligible when it comes to real-world use.

On the battery front, we haven’t yet heard anything regarding the iPhone 16 line specifically, but since all four iPhone 15 models were rumored to come with a new stacked battery design – of the sort used in electric vehicles – we’re confident that this technology will instead be making its way into Apple’s 2024 iPhones.

In theory, stacked batteries can be more tightly packaged and offer a higher energy density than current mobile batteries, so we expect the iPhone 16 series to offer battery life improvements over the iPhone 15 line.

iPhone Lightning port next to a USB-C cable

USB-C is a formality for the iPhone 16 line (Image credit: Shutterstock / kurgenc)

In terms of actual battery capacities, the iPhone 15 line reportedly features the below power pack sizes (Apple hasn’t yet confirmed these figures):

  • iPhone 15: 3,877mAh (vs 3,279mAh on iPhone 14)
  • iPhone 15 Plus: 4,912mAh (vs 4,325mAh on iPhone 14 Plus)
  • iPhone 15 Pro: 3,650mAh (vs 3,200mAh on iPhone 14 Pro)
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max: 4,852mAh (vs 4,323mAh on iPhone 14 Pro Max)

Logic suggests that next year’s equivalent iPhone 16 models will offer similar battery capacities, and we expect Apple to offer reverse wireless charging functionality across the entire iPhone 16 line, too.

Oh, and like the iPhone 15 line, every iPhone 16 model will sport a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port, thanks to new EU regulations that become legally binding in 2024.

We also expect AI to play a big role in the functionality of the iPhone 16 (especially when compared to previous-generation iPhones), while some degree of Apple Vision Pro integration seems inevitable, too. We haven’t yet heard much on either subject, though.

And lastly, Apple’s iPhone 16 Pro models could get support for the Wi-Fi 7 standard, which would deliver faster speeds, lower latency and more reliable connectivity.

More blog post here