You probably upgraded to the iPhone 15 over the holiday season. But now that Samsung has just finished its flagship launch fanfare for the Galaxy S24 series, it’s time to start talking about what’s next. The next major smartphone we expect from Apple is the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro series.
The rumors on this iPhone 16 began almost as soon as the iPhone 14 launched in late 2022. Back then, the gossip was that Apple would do away with the notch entirely in favor of a more seamless design. But then the regular iPhone 15 adopted it, so we’re left wondering what could be coming in the design pipeline.
Current rumors are trending toward a new stacked design for the rear-facing camera lenses on the regular iPhone 16. At the same time, the iPhone 16 Pro could have an additional input that serves as a camera button. The iPhone 16 display sizes might come in four disparate offerings, the idea being there’s a little more something for everyone in the Pro tier. We won’t know anything until Apple reveals the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro. But it’s fun to speculate.
When will the iPhone 16 arrive?
The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro are expected to arrive around the same time as the last decade of iPhone launches. There is an unspoken understanding that Apple refreshes the iPhone every fall with an upgraded look and new features. People still line up at the Apple Store for the iPhone launches.
Apple’s latest cadence has been to launch the iPhone after Labor Day, which is mid-September. If you’re keen on pre-ordering the day the iPhone 16 is announced, I’d hold off on making plans around then.
How big will the iPhone 16 be?
The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro are expected to all have vastly different screen size offerings than previous generations. In the last few years, the Pro and regular models offered the same sized medium and large configurations. But this time, Apple is expected to make the Pro variants bigger than the regular phones.
The iPhone 16 is expected to have a similar size as the iPhone 15: a 6.1-inch display for the purported iPhone 16 and a 6.7-inch display for the iPhone 16 Plus. The iPhone 16 Pros will be bigger: 6.2 inches for the iPhone 16 Pro and “over” 6.8 inches for the iPhone 16 Pro Max—it’s living up to its “max” name if the screen goes this big.
A report from overseas manufacturing suggests the iPhone’s display technology will incorporate a new OLED utilizing a micro-lens array (MLA). The new screens are expected to be brighter and more energy efficient.
iPhone 16 Design
Prepare to get more buttons in the next generation of the iPhone. The iPhone 16 is purported to get the iPhone 15 Pro’s Action button. That’s the quick-press switch on the left side of the iPhone that replaces what used to be a physical mute switch. By default, the button mutes the system just like in old times, or you can go into the iOS settings to reconfigure the shortcut.
The haptic button that’s been rumored about for years may finally find a home in the iPhone 16 Pro. There are rumblings of a capture button located on the right side of the iPhone where cellular antennas typically reside. This could be the haptic area, called the Capture Button, with the ability to tap to snap a photo or slide up and down to zoom in and out. It would give the iPhone a more camera-like feel, and it’s not unlike the extra programmable button many Android manufacturers have tried before.
Expect the iPhone 16 to have a stacked camera array rather than the stove-top design that’s been around for what seems like eons. Some renders have depicted it in a pill shape, but it will likely stay square, as that has become the iPhone’s signature backside.
iPhone 16 Performance Rumors
A cooler Apple Bionic
The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will probably follow in the footsteps of the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. Apple bumped up those phones to an A16 Bionic with ✨performance tweaks✨, and the iPhone 16 will likely do the same with the 15 Pro’s A17 Bionic. The iPhone 16 and 16 Pro will probably introduce us to the A18 Bionic.
There is a smattering of evidence suggesting Apple will stick to a conventional naming schematic and instead debut the A18 and A18 Pro Bionic, with the pro version offering an extra GPU core.
The iPhone 16 should run cooler after complaints that the iPhone 15 was doing too much in the heat department. A graphene heat sink could help mitigate the relative warmth of the iPhone chassis that caused so much stir last fall.
Spatial Video for all
As I mentioned, the stacked cameras are coming to the back of the iPhone 16. There’s a reason for the layout: that particular camera array is best for recording spatial video content. It’s not hard to believe this as it seems like something that Apple would want to help justify the existence of its exorbitantly priced developer-centric AR headset, the Apple Vision Pro.
The iPhone 16 Pro will also improve its far-away seeing capabilities. A super telephoto periscope camera could be on the way, which would help stabilize your hand as you attempt to shoot that bird in the sky on a nature hike.
Better Siri is on the way.
If you were frustrated over Siri’s inability to understand you, hope may be on the horizon. The iPhone 16 is expected to have a better microphone for all your Siri queries—although I just whispered the name while typing it, the iPhone 15 Pro Max picked it up surprisingly quickly.
Trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo published a few AI-related predictions for the iPhone 16, including the fact that it will have a better signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio. With Google and Samsung positioning AI as the reason to buy their devices, it makes sense that Apple would pursue a similar route, at least for marketing purposes.
We’ll update this page with any new rumors on Apple’s iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro. Stay tuned here with us.