iPhone 16 release date speculation, possible specs, potential pricing

What do we already know about the next iPhone, the iPhone 16?

iPhone 16 release date speculation, possible specs, potential pricing. Image shows the Apple logo with a gold 16 number inside, on a green gradient background.

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Just months after the release of the iPhone 15, eyes are already turning towards its successor, so we’re rounding up the iPhone 16 rumors. Apple’s current flagship iPhone, the iPhone 15, brought forward a whole load of new features and capabilities in its sleek form and titanium casing. However, with the smartphone industry developing at such a rapid speed, it’s not all too surprising that iPhone users are already anticipating what the possible iPhone 16 lineup, including the iPhone 16 Plus and iPhone 16 Pro Max, could have in store.

Of course, there is already a swarm of rumors circulating through the tech community, speculating on the return of the action button, a reworked OLED screen, and a new battery. In this article, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up some of the most notable iPhone 16 rumors, to act as a useful hub for following the ongoing developments in the iPhone 16 and its design and features.

iPhone 16 release date speculation

Of course, as the potential release date is so far in the future, it’s hard to know for sure when the exact date will be, and we’ve certainly had no news from Apple on the matter yet either. However, trends around the launch of previous models lend to the speculation that we could potentially be looking at a September 2024 release date for the next-generation iPhone, perhaps at some point around the middle of the month.

iPhone 16 – display and design rumors

Apple gave its smartphone design language a breath of fresh air with the release of the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro lineups in September of 2023, and, likely, the iPhone 16 will still have this refined iPhone profile, as well as retain the use of the USB-C port. While we haven’t heard too much on the topic of the iPhone 16’s design, there are a few possible adaptations being suggested by sources across the web.

Camera layout

One such design rumor concerns the iPhone 16’s camera layout. According to the leaker @URedditor on X, the base iPhone 16 model will bring back the vertical camera arrangement used in the iPhone 11 and 12 models, as opposed to the diagonal layout used on every iPhone after the 13. This could distinguish the iPhone 16 from its predecessors, making it more recognizable as the new flagship model. In fact, recent leaks are further suggesting that this could be the case. Leaker Majin Bu on X posted what they claim to be iPhone 16 mockups. These pictures show a possible design that ditches the square camera bump for two stacked lenses on a vertical pill cut-out in the top left side of the device.

One of the potential reasons behind a swap to an iPhone 12 camera could be to enable spatial video recording using the Ultrawide and wide camera. This feature was introduced onto the iPhone 15 Pro models, but having the feature on all the iPhone 16 variants would open up the feature to a wider range of users, perhaps even swaying more people to buy an Apple Vision Pro headset. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this leak is still fully confirmed as of yet.

In terms of camera capabilities, it seems possible that the 5x telephoto lens of the Pro Max could also come to the Pro model, and that across the range we’ll see a slight step-up in image quality and low-light photography. What’s more, it’s rumored that the 5x optical zoom telephoto lens could come to the Pro instead of just the Pro Max iPhone lineup.

Display

Additionally, it seems it might be possible that Apple might be reworking the OLED screen for its new line-up of iPhones. Perhaps we’ll even see the use of micro-lens technology to give the phones an increased brightness that also has reduced power consumption. Whilst on the topic of displays, other rumored features concerning the display of Apple’s next line-up of iPhones include larger 6.3″ and 6.9″ models for the 16 Pro and Pro Max. This of course means that these new models might be wider and taller than the iPhone 15 counterparts. We haven’t so far had any rumors surrounding a size increase for the base iPhone 16 models, so it could be speculated that the display size might stay the same as the base iPhone 15.

The Action Button

Across the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, the traditional mute switch was replaced with an Action Button that could perform multiple functions including launching a shortcut, enabling Silent Mode or Focus Mode, and activating the camera or flash to name a few. Current leaks from MacRumors are now pointing towards the Action Button getting expanded to all iPhone 16 models. What’s more, this button could be more integrated with the phone’s design, perhaps becoming flush with its body and providing haptic feedback.

Furthermore, speculations from MacRumors suggest that the iPhone 16 will possibly be getting an extra capacitive button, apparently known internally as “the Capture Button”. As the name suggests this new force-sensitive button could act as a shutter button for the camera, and of course there’s the potential that it will hold other photography-based abilities too – if it ends up getting included.

iPhone 16 Ultra?

However, perhaps this will even be the year that yet another model is added to the iPhone 16 lineup; the name ‘iPhone 16 Ultra‘ has hit rumors pages, and it certainly has a nice ring to it. Similar to how the Apple Watch Ultra is a step up from the base Apple Watch in its premium features, the iPhone 16 Ultra would offer an even broader range of high-end features to the iPhone 16 Pro. These are speculated to include display and camera upgrades, and solid-state buttons, provided that this device actually makes it into the iPhone 16 family.

iPhone 16 Pro design

Recent prototypes from rumor and analyst site MacRumors have given us a clear mockup of what we might be expecting from the iPhone 16 Pro in terms of design at this moment in time. Similar to its predecessor, the iPhone 15 Pro, the next Pro iPhone will have larger displays that are encased by curved edges and a titanium frame. According to MacRumors sources, the display sizes might be coming in at 6.3 inches for the 16 Pro and 6.9 inches for the 16 Pro Max, a 0.2-inch increase from the 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max.

So, while this gives us a rough idea of how the iPhone 16 Pro will physically build upon the design of its predecessor, including an improved aspect ratio, it’s yet to be seen how internal processes will be boosted. Will we see the successor of the A17 Pro chip take the iPhone to even higher heights?

iPhone 16 camera rumors

With the yearly release of each new iPhone, Apple brings upgraded camera features to its models, so it’s only natural to expect some new camera capabilities from the iPhone 16. However, initial rumors seem to be suggesting that the standard iPhone 16 might utilize the same 48MP main and 12MP ultra wide lens dual-sensor setup as the iPhone 15. So, it leaves more speculation to be done about the possible camera features that will instead be coming to the iPhone 16 Pro, Pro Max, and potentially the iPhone 16 Ultra.

According to Tech Radar and its sources, the iPhone 16 Pro could be getting the addition of the periscope camera zoom lens, a feature that’s currently exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Additionally, the 5 x Telephoto Lens could also come to the 16 Pro model instead of just the 16 Pro Max. If we do indeed see an iPhone 16 Ultra, this top-of-the-line iPhone would likely have even more improved camera capabilities than any iPhone predecessor so far, but so far it’s unclear what this might look like.

iPhone 16 performance

Naturally, as the next flagship iPhone, it’s probable that the iPhone 16 will have its performance leveled up. In keeping up with the AI craze that seems to have now come to smartphones, it’s recently been reported that the iPhone 16 might be ramping up its AI computing cores. Spotted by MacRumors, this article on the Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News claims that the Neural Engine on the new A-series chip (possibly the A18) will be significantly improved. This would bring an even bigger wealth of generative AI features to the iPhone 16, perhaps including an AI Siri powered by large language models, as well as shortcuts for iMessage, Apple Music, and more. Alongside this, there could be Wi-Fi 7 support and a newer 5G modem for an all-round upgrade.

iPhone 16 potential pricing

When it comes to the potential pricing of the iPhone 16, like most of the rumored specs, it’s too early to make a confident call on how much the models will cost. While it was expected that the iPhone 15 would get a higher price tag, Apple managed to keep the device at $799 for the base model despite component and production costs being so high. So, it seems possible that an increased price for the iPhone 16, though it’s currently unclear how much of an increase it might be if that does end up being the case. Currently, it’s safe to estimate that the phone might cost somewhere between $799 – $899 for the base model with 128 GB storage.

Will the iPhone 16 have a better battery?

The iPhone battery life is one area that users always look to for improvements, and rumors so far point towards the iPhone 16 making this somewhat of a reality. One speculation that’s been making the rounds is that the iPhone 16 might make use of the stacked battery approach, a new technology moving over to smartphones. This could mean a higher mAh capacity and a longer lifespan for the latest iPhones.

Furthermore, some leaked images of an early-stage iPhone 16 Pro Proto have made their way onto the internet via @Kosutami on X. While it’s perhaps not the most exciting leak, as the battery will stay concealed inside the phone, it does point toward potential improvement in the thermal management of the iPhone. The leaks show a change-up from the glossy black foil battery coating to a frosted metal shell. However, more interesting than that is the size of the battery itself, which is 3,355mAh capacity. It’s bigger than the current iPhone 15 Pro, but only by a meager 2.5%. However, it does leave room for speculation surrounding the potential of bigger batteries for the iPhone 16 family, with optimized thermal cooling.

Final thoughts

So, that’s pretty much a wrap on what we currently know so far concerning Apple’s next iPhone successor, the iPhone 16 family. Of course, we’ve had no official announcements from Apple so far, given that we’re still just under a year away from its potential launch date, so any rumors should be taken with a pinch of salt. However, 2023 has been an exciting year for the smartphone industry, with phones getting intriguing AI features and insane camera features, so it’s only natural that tech enthusiasts and iPhone fans will be speculating how these top-end advances will get transferred into Apple’s design language and iOS interface.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.