Everything we know so far and what we want to see

Apple iPhone 15 Pro with older iPhones in background

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Update: January 22, 2024 (01:40 AM ET): We have updated our iPhone 16 series rumor hub to include information on the iPhone 16’s camera shutter button.

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Apple’s iPhone 15 series is still fairly new right now, but the leaks landscape is far more evolved than what it used to be till a few years back, and thanks to that, we already have a number of iPhone 16 rumors and leaks going around.

Apple made some significant changes to the 2023 iPhone lineup, including the addition of USB-C, the mute-switch-replacing Action Button, Titanium bodies instead of Stainless Steel, Dynamic Island on the non-Pro iPhones, a periscope camera for the Pro Max model, and more. If you’ve been following Apple long enough, you’d know that most of these new features from the iPhone 15 series would most certainly be coming to iPhone 16 models. What’s exclusive to the Pros today would likely trickle down to the non-Pro variants next year. It’s just how Apple does things. With all that and the leaks that we have at hand, here’s what you can expect from the iPhone 16 lineup.

Apple iPhone 16 series: At a glance

  • When is it expected to come out? You can expect Apple to launch the iPhone 16 series in September 2024.
  • What new features could there be? The iPhone 16 lineup should get an A-series processor. It’s also rumored to feature a new button, improved cameras, larger displays, and possibly an “Ultra” model.
  • How much might it cost? We expect the iPhone 16 to start at $799 for the non-Pro models and $999 for the Pro variants.

Will there be an iPhone 16 series?

Apple iPhone 15 Pro review hero

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There’s no doubt Apple will launch new iPhones in 2024. The company’s numbered series has been going steady since the iPhone 4. Before that, Apple had the original iPhone and two iPhone 3G models. But ever since the iPhone 4, Apple has been consistent with the numbered naming scheme, and we’re now nearing the iPhone 16 series. The 2024 lineup will mark 18 years of iPhones. Will Apple finally mature enough to open up its walled garden that is iOS? Who knows? But we do have tons of iPhone 16 info to run through. Read on to get the lowdown.

What is the most likely iPhone 16 series release date?

Apple iPhone 15 Pro lockscreen in hand

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

  • Apple iPhone 13: September 14, 2021
  • Apple iPhone 14: September 7, 2022
  • Apple iPhone 15: September 12, 2023

Apple has been launching new iPhones in September since the iPhone 5. Barring the iPhone SE models, September is Apple’s preferred month for flagship announcements. It was only during the pandemic that Apple went off course and launched the iPhone 12 series in October. But if all goes as planned and there are no last-minute manufacturing hitches, the iPhone 16 series should arrive like clockwork in September 2024. It’s too early for even leaked details about a possible iPhone 16 release date, but we’ll update this article as and when we hear anything about it.

What rumored specs and features could the iPhone 16 series have?

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Action Button

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Design, display, and buttons

Apple made several notable design changes on the iPhone 15 series, and we expect the company to refine these going forward. We think Apple’s newly launched Action Button will make its way to the non-Pro iPhone 16 models next year. Lending further credence to this possibility, Mark Gurman of Bloomberg claims the Action Button will trickle down to the non-Pro models. As we said earlier, bringing Pro features to base iPhone models is a practice Apple has followed for years. The Dynamic Island on the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus is a prime example of that. So, if you prefer the mute switch over the new button, know that it will most likely disappear for good after the iPhone 16 lineup goes official.

Apple could equip the iPhone 16 series with yet another new button.

If one new button wasn’t enough, rumor has it that Apple will equip the iPhone 16 series with yet another button. According to a MacRumors report and Gurman, Apple internally refers to this new button as the “Capture Button.” It is expected to appear on the right side of the device, and Gurman says it could be used to record videos. The Information says that the button will be a physical button that will be sensitive to both pressure and touch. The report mentions that lightly pressing the button will allow you to focus, while a firmer press will capture an image or start recording. It is said that you will also be able to swipe left or right on the key to zoom in or out.

All-in-all, it looks like the iPhone 16 series may come with as many as five buttons, including the power button, two volume buttons, the Action Button, and the new Capture Button. The button is said to be in testing across all four models within the iPhone 16 series.

Another theory is that Apple could remove all the physical buttons and opt for solid-state buttons for next year’s iPhone 16 Pro models. This feature was heavily expected on the iPhone 15 series but reportedly had to be delayed due to manufacturing issues.

A MacRumors report included mockups of three different iPhone 16 early prototypes, pictured below. The first iPhone 16 prototype, rendered in yellow, featured an iPhone X-style camera pill. It also featured a unified volume rocker that could provide haptic feedback.

The second iPhone 16 prototype, rendered in pink, featured vertically aligned cameras but with separated volume buttons.

The third iPhone 16 prototype, rendered in Midnight Black, featured vertically aligned cameras, separated volume buttons, but also a larger Action button and a new Capture button.

All three prototypes featured an Action button, indicating that the mute switch could be well on its way out.

There’s also the possibility Apple does nothing at all with the design. In November, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the iPhone 16 won’t have any major hardware advances in 2024. It looks like Apple may be focusing more on software this time around.

The overall footprint of the new 2024 iPhones could also be larger than ever

The overall footprint of the new 2024 iPhones could also be larger than ever. Gurman and display analyst Ross Young concur that Apple plans to increase the size of its two iPhone 16 Pro models by “a couple of tenths of an inch diagonally.” The new displays are expected to measure 6.2 inches and 6.8 inches for the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max, respectively, making them the largest ever for the ‌iPhone‌. Meanwhile, 9to5Mac claims the top-of-the-line iPhone could adopt the “Ultra” branding next year and feature a 6.9-inch display, while the smaller iPhone 16 Pro could get a 6.3-inch OLED.

A MacRumors report corroborates the larger displays and capacitive Capture button with iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max mockups.

The heating problems that initially impacted the iPhone 15 Pro appear to have had an effect on Apple’s planning. According to tipster Kosutami, the firm doesn’t want to repeat this mistake with the iPhone 16. The leak alleges Apple is working on a graphene-based thermal system to improve heat dissipation.

As for the base iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, we expect Apple to stick to the same screen sizes. Display analyst Young also suggests that Apple is only expected to bring high refresh rate screens to base iPhones in 2025. That means we might be stuck with 60Hz displays on the cheaper iPhones next year as well.

Another visual change could make the size of the Dynamic Island significantly smaller. The Elec reported in January 2023 that the iPhone 16 Pro models could house an under-display face unlock or Face ID.

iPhone 16 series camera specs

Apple iPhone 15 Pro camera housing

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There are a number of rumors already swirling around about iPhone 16 camera specs. Apple introduced a new tetraprism zoom lens on the iPhone 15 Pro Max this year. The lens is expected to match the performance of a 120mm full-frame camera lens. According to Apple analyst and trusted informer Ming-Chi Kuo, the lens won’t be restricted to the top iPhone model next year, and both the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will feature tetraprism telephoto cameras.

Weibo tipster Digital Chat Station has also claimed that the iPhone 16 Pro will gain a 5x zoom camera rather than just the Pro Max model. They also claim that the iPhone 16 Pro will pack a 48MP primary camera sensor.

DCS adds that the iPhone 16 Pro Max could land with a “periscope ultra-telephoto,” meaning it might have a very high focal length, beating the likes of the Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Meanwhile, Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu claims that Apple will add a 48MP ultrawide shooter to the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max. Ming-Chi Kuo also reiterates this with more details, noting that the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max could jump to a 48MP 1/2.6-inch sensor with 0.7µm pixel size and 6P lens assembly for its rear ultrawide camera. The output will be 12MP, so with pixel binning, the effective pixel size would be 1.4µm. If true, this will be a major resolution upgrade compared to the 12MP ultrawide sensor currently used on iPhone models that has a 1µm pixel size.

Other expected specs and features

Other specs for the iPhone 16 series remain under wraps, but we do expect the annual processor upgrade. Based on how Apple does things, the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus should ideally get the A17 Pro chip Apple is now using in the iPhone 15 Pro phones, while the iPhone 16 Pro lineup could see a brand new 18-series chip from Apple.

However, analyst Jeff Pu (via Macrumors) has debunked this theory. He claims that all four new iPhone 16 series phones will be equipped with the A18 series chips. Pu also expects the chips to be manufactured by TSMC on its second-generation 3nm process instead of the first-generation 3nm process used on the A17 Pro chip. There could still be a difference in the processors that the non-Pro and Pro iPhones 16 models get. As per Pu, the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus will get the A18 chip, while the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max will come equipped with the A18 Pro chip.

Meanwhile, the storage tiers of the iPhone 16 series could remain the same as the iPhone 15 series, but there may be some shuffling in RAM. Analyst Jeff Pu (via Macrumors) suggests that the base iPhone 16 could finally get 8GB of RAM, compared to the base iPhone 15’s 6GB of RAM. The iPhone 15 Pro models already have 8GB of RAM, so they stick with the same for the iPhone 16 Pro models.

The base iPhone 16 could also make the jump to Wi-Fi 6E finally.

The iPhone 16 Pro, instead, could get an upgrade to the Qualcomm Snapdragon X75 modem, as Jeff Pu notes (via Macrumors). The base iPhone 16 could retain the Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 modem, which is present on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models.

An October 22 report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman talked about how Apple plans to infuse generative AI into its products in the coming years. The fruits of Apple’s efforts might be visible on the iPhone 16 series, with the company reportedly integrating AI features in next year’s big iOS update as well as its digital assistant Siri.

Lending further credence to Gurman’s report, tipster Revegnus also claimed that Siri will be integrated with an in-house LLM. Revegnus also mentioned we could see this AI-infused Siri as soon as WWDC 2024 and the iPhone may be the first device to benefit from it.

What might the iPhone 16 series’ price be?

iPhone 15 14 series

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

  • iPhone 15: Starts at $799
  • iPhone 15 Plus: Starts at $899
  • iPhone 15 Pro: Starts at $999
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max: Starts at $1,199

Apple has already increased prices for its Pro Max model. You could buy the base 128GB iPhone 14 Pro Max for $1,099 in 2022, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max underwent big changes and starts at $1,199 for a 256GB model. We expect Apple to stick to the new $1,199 price and higher base storage for the iPhone 16 Pro Max. As for the rest of the lineup, it’s tough to say if Apple will keep prices unchanged or increase them. We aren’t hearing about huge upgrades just yet, so the iPhone 16 series could also end up starting at $799. We’ll be better positioned to predict prices as and when more information about the phones leaks.

Should you wait for the iPhone 16 series?

Apple iPhone 15 Pro App Drawer

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you’re looking to pick up a new flagship iPhone right now, it makes little sense to wait for the iPhone 16 series simply because it is a year away.

Apple iPhone 16 series: What we want to see

Apple iPhone 15 Pro USB C cable and port

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Better heat dissipation

The iPhone 15 series isn’t off to a good start, with overheating issues being noticed across the board. The Pro iPhone 15 models are more impacted than the non-Pro variants. While Apple has acknowledged the problem and rolled out a fix that reduces overheating, we hope the company does a better job with the thermals on the iPhone 16 series. Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple sacrificed cooling tech on the iPhone 15 Pro series to make it lighter, and if that’s the reason the phones are heating up, we hope the company has learned its lesson and makes amends next year.

Higher screen refresh rate

The display refresh rate of the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus feels archaic at 60Hz. No premium Android smartphone is stuck at 60Hz anymore, and almost all of them offer at least a 120Hz display refresh rate if not more. Apple really has no convincing excuse for the lack of high refresh rate screens on the non-Pro iPhones. We really hope it doesn’t wait until 2025 to give us at least a 90Hz screen on the cheapest iPhone.

Faster charging

Now that Apple has entered the USB-C fray, it can amp up charging speeds on the iPhone 16 series. The company is still using iPhone 14-era 20W wired charging speeds. MagSafe also supports the same 15W wireless charging. Surely, Apple could do better. We’re not saying we want insane 200W charging speeds, but even a jump to true 45W charging would be a welcome upgrade.

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