iPhone 16 release date expectations, price estimates, and upgrades

What we know so far

The Apple iPhone 16 range will be announced at a dedicated hardware event held in September 2024. As is tradition, the upcoming iPhone models will be launched roughly ten days later. 

The iPhone 16 lineup will consist of four devices: the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro, iPhone 16 Plus, and iPhone 16 Pro Max. The iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will grow to 6.3 and 6.9 inches, respectively, while the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will remain the same size as their predecessors, with no size changes whatsoever.

We are fairly certain that Apple will introduce a whole new button to all new iPhone 16 models. Dubbed the Capture Button by the blogosphere, this one will allow iPhone 16 users to quickly record videos or take photos with a single tap (or click).

Rumors have it that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will get vertical camera lens setups at the rear, unlike previous iPhone models, which all had diagonal camera arrangements. This change will enable the regular iPhone 16 models to capture spatial video intended for the Apple Vision Pro headset. Colors-wise, we might see the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max in Space Black, White, Gray, and Rose colors, while the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will reportedly be available in black, green, pink, blue, and white.

In terms of camera hardware, the iPhone 16 Pro/Pro Max might get improved 48MP ultra-wide cameras. We are also very hopeful that the iPhone 16 Pro will score the new 5X telephoto camera that debuted with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and so far, the rumors seem to agree on that. No major hardware changes are coming to the iPhone 16/ iPhone 16 Plus camera system.

We are confident that Apple will use 3nm chips on all of its upcoming iPhones. The iPhone 16/iPhone 16 Plus could get the regular version of the upcoming A18 Bionic chip, while the two iPhone 16 Pro models will possibly be equipped with the Apple A18 Pro chip. We expect to see improved performance and battery life with both chips, but the Apple A18 Pro should have the upper hand.

The iPhone 16 will come with iOS 18 out of the box. We are very excited about iOS 18 as rumors hype it up as the biggest iOS update recently, with tons of new generative AI additions expected. iOS 18 will actually be revealed at Apple's annual WWDC summit this June. 

So far, we haven’t heard any significant rumors about a potential price hike, so we can probably count that the iPhone 16 lineup will cost the same as the iPhone 15 did at launch.

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iPhone 16 release date

The iPhone 16 will most certainly be unveiled in September 2024. Based on historic records, we believe that Apple will announce the iPhone 16 at a dedicated keynote event held on September 10, 2024. As is usual with Apple's iPhones, the expected market release will possibly take place some ten days later, on Friday, September 20. 

* - probable dates

iPhone 16 price

We anticipate that Apple will keep iPhone 16 prices unchanged in comparison with the previous iPhone models. You never know with Apple, and there's always a chance that prices could go up, as of now that's not very probable. 

In the best-case scenario for regular customers, Apple will hopefully keep the current price unchanged for yet another year. Surely, increasing the price of your main bread-winner will cause some revenue stirs for the company, which is still predominantly reliant on the iPhone range.

The rumor mill was seemingly unanimous that the iPhone 15 models would cost more to compensate for both the rising manufacturing costs and the steadily increasing global inflation and cost of living. Yet, Apple pleasantly surprised us by keeping the iPhone 15 pricing on the same level as the iPhone 14 range.

* - anticipated prices based on expectations

iPhone 16 & iPhone 16 Plus camera

  • Main: 48MP 
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP

Currently, we expect that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will feature identical camera setups, just like their direct predecessors. Both will retain the same general camera setup that debuted with the iPhone 15: a 48MP wide-angle camera accompanied by a 12MP ultra-wide camera. Just like the iPhone 15, the iPhone 16 will possibly take 24MP photos by default, which will strike a balance between file size and image quality. 

Thanks to the larger sensor, the current iPhone allows its users to capture 2X photos with lossless image quality by cropping the camera sensor, and the iPhone 16 will be able to do that, too. This means that you will have access to a 2X zoom toggle on the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus. 

  • New camera layout: One major change is the camera layout: unlike previous iPhone models, which have diagonal camera alignments, the iPhone 16 will be adopting a vertical layout which has not been seen since the iPhone 12 days. The reason for that change is spatial video––when taking videos in landscape mode, the cameras will be positioned horizontally, which will enable those to record spatial video, intended to be viewed on the Apple Vision Pro headset. Diagonally positioned cameras like the ones on previous iPhone cameras can't record spatial video. 

iPhone 16 Pro camera

  • Main: 48MP
  • Ultra-wide: 48MP
  • Telephoto: 12MP 5X 120mm

The iPhone 16 Pro will come with the same 48MP Sony IMX803-powered camera as the iPhone 15 Pro and will be able to take lossless 2X photos by cropping the 48MP main sensor. The iPhone 16 Pro will score some important upgrades, though.

  • No more lens flare: Recent rumors claim Apple will grace the iPhone 16 Pro cameras with a special ALD anti-glare coating, which will finally minimize undesirable lens flaring. ALD stands for Atomic Layer Deposition and will supposedly greatly boost the imaging capabilities of the camera, especially when taking pictures or videos at night.

  • Thinner lens: The iPhone 16 Pro cameras might have much thinner and lighter lens. This will be enabled thanks to the use of molded glass lenses, which will essentially slim down that camera bump and cut some weight.

iPhone 16 storage and RAM

*-might not be available 

We expect major changes to the storage and RAM across the iPhone 16 range, and AI is to "blame". 

A recent report claims that Apple might be forced to make 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage the minimum baseline across the iPhone 16 range. The reason for the storage bump could be on-device AI, as AI models currently require tons of data to be fed to them, resulting in higher storage requirements. RAM is another key component when it comes to AI processing, necessitating another upgrade. 

As a reminder, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus came with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in their base versions, but also had 256GB and 512GB versions. At the same time, the Galaxy S24 is available with 128 and 256GB of storage, so iPhones offer a bit more flexibility. 

In terms of maximum storage, the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will top out at 512GB of storage, while the iPhone 16 Pro and the iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available with up to 1TB of storage. There's chatter about a potential version with 2TB of storage, but this one ranks low on our probability radar. 

iPhone 16 connectivity

On the connectivity front, rumors point out that the iPhone 16 lineup could score support for Wi-Fi 7. The benefit of Wi-Fi 7 could be better data throughput speed, lower latency, and more reliable connectivity. The Wi-Fi 7-equipped iPhone 16 lineup is expected to offer data transfer speeds of more than 40 Gbps, which would be a 4x increase over the Wi-Fi 6E of the current iPhone generation. 

The iPhone 16 Pro might come along with a much faster new 5G modem made by Qualcomm. Dubbed the Snapdragon X75 5G, this one will enable both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G coverage using a single transceiver, which will reduce battery usage by up to 20%. It also takes 25% less space as compared to the Snapdragon X70 chip on the iPhone 15

iPhone 16 design

  • iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus: New capacitive Capture Button, Action Button, vertical rear camera placement
  • iPhone 16 Pro: Thinner bezels and larger displays, new capacitive Capture Button, improved internal design, better thermal management

It's fairly logical to expect that the iPhone 16 Pro will continue to utilize the new titanium frame that debuted on the previous iPhone lineup. The rumor mill agrees, and even raises the bar by claiming Apple will be using improved titanium processing, which could switch the metal finish from matte to glossy. As another benefit, this new process will improve the color vibrancy of the frame.

Fairly recently, a number of iPhone 16 dummies showcasing the whole range leaked out. The iPhone 16 Pro Max looks noticeably larger than the rest of the lineup, which falls in line with our expectations of it being the largest one. 

Thanks to a new technology dubbed BRS (Border Reduction Structure), the iPhone 16 lineup will reportedly feature the thinnest bezels on an iPhone. Shrinking the bottom bezel has historically proved to be a challenge because of heat generation issues. As the bottom bezel is designed to be as thin as possible, the BRS tech seems to take care of the issue by rolling the heat-generating copper wires from the bottom up.

The iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will most certainly retain the Action Button of the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max, which substituted the mute switch. The Action Button on the iPhone 16 series could be slightly smaller, as revealed by a recent leak. The Action Button might also come to the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, making it a universal iPhone feature going forward. 

Another major development for the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus could be the vertical camera module placement, which will allow for spatial video recording. (See the Camera section) 

  • Size comparison: In terms of size, the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max would be slightly taller, marginally wider, and heavier than their predecessors, while the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will remain similar to their predecessors. The reason for this growth could be the rumored display size increase, which could see the iPhone 16 Pro Max display grow to 6.86 inches and the iPhone 16 Pros screen to 6.27 inches.

Here's how big the iPhone 16 models will probably be based on those rumors:

Meanwhile, the iPhone 16 Pro might come with a new color selection: Space Black, White, Gray, and Rose Gold might be the available colors for the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max models. Usually, the regular iPhones are available in a slightly different color selection, so we wouldn't expect them to be available in the same hues. 

iPhone 16 Capture Button

An intriguing upgrade that's potentially coming to all iPhone 16 models is a new capacitive Capture Button. The proposed new button might include controls for focus and zoom. 

  • Enhanced customizability: It's said that the Capture button will be pressure-sensitive and react according to the force applied to it, returning haptic feedback. You'd also be able to swipe left or right on the button to zoom in or out. While many smartphones currently allow zoom adjustments through volume keys, Apple's approach suggests that your finger won't have to leave the Capture Button, offering a potentially more convenient experience. 

  • Tappable, not clickable: Judging from some recently revealed case images, the iPhone 16 Capture button will be a capacitive one, as cases for the iPhone 16 will feature a cutout instead of a regular button cover that usually goes over a clickable button. The button will also be positioned on the bottom right part of the side frame, so it sits right beneath your right fingertip when you rotate the phone in landscape mode.

iPhone 16 display

  • iPhone 16: 6.12-inch OLED display (no changes)
  • iPhone 16 Plus: 6.69-inch OLED display (no changes)
  • iPhone 16 Pro: 6.27-inch OLED display (vs 6.12-inch on iPhone 15 Pro)
  • iPhone 16 Pro Max: 6.86-inch OLED display (vs 6.69-inch on iPhone 15 Pro Max)

As we mentioned above, there could be some major changes on the display front for the iPhone 16 generation. The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus won't score any changes, but the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will get larger displays with slimmer bezels, maximizing the available screen real estate. 

  • Larger displays: According to rumors from reputable insider Ross Young, the display of the Phone 16 Pro Max will grow to 6.86 inches in size, while the more compact iPhone 16 Pro will score a 6.27-inch screen, which would be a notable increase on both phones. This rumor about a potential size upgrade was later confirmed by another credible source (tipster Revegnus on X), which automatically makes this rumor extremely credible.

Aside from getting larger, the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will both have LTPO OLED displays with very thin bezels. What does this mean? Similar to all Pro models since the iPhone 13, these displays allow for a much smoother 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate that makes scrolling more rewarding. Another potential improvement that could be coming our way might be a much greater peak brightness.

  • No 120Hz for the affordable iPhones: Meanwhile, the list of potential improvements to the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus is slimmer. Both devices will remain with 6.12-inch and 6.69-inch displays respectively, and the refresh rate might remain at the standard 60Hz setting, which doesn't sound particularly exciting for phones due to be released late in 2024.

That said, here are the iPhone 16 display upgrade rumors so far, summarized in a table:

iPhone 16 battery

The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro will arrive with slightly larger batteries in comparison with the former generation. However, a recent leak has hinted that we might score battery increases on all iPhone models except for the iPhone 16 Plus, which will actually be getting downsized with a smaller battery in comparison with the iPhone 15 Plus

Pairing a slightly larger battery with the more efficient Apple A18 will certainly pave the way for better battery life, which is always welcome and would have big repercussions on your day-to-day life.

As per the rumor, the iPhone 16 models battery sizes will stand as follows (we've included a comparison versus the previous generation):

*-rumored battery sizes

  • USB Type-C and hopefully faster charging: The iPhone 16 lineup will certainly retain the USB Type-C port that debuted with the iPhone 15 lineup.

    Apple recommends a 20W charging brick for the iPhone 15 range, though the phones can get juiced at up to 27W with more powerful Apple chargers. As a comparison, the Galaxy S24 boasts 25W wired charging, and it charges faster than the iPhone 15. The Galaxy S24 Plus, however, supports 45W wired charging and charges even faster. 

Charging is another area in which we can potentially see improvements on the iPhone 16 range. The USB Type-C standard allows for much greater potential power throughput, so Apple has tons of room for improvement. However, knowing Apple, such an upgrade could be intended for future iPhone generations. 

iPhone 16 features and software

  • iOS 18 out of the box, at least five years of software support

The iPhone 16 will definitely come with iOS 18 on board. The next major software version of iOS will be detailed at the upcoming Apple WWDC'24 developer summit this June.

While leaks about software are way harder to come by in comparison with hardware ones, there's lots of chatter that Apple could turn its head to artificial intelligence with the next iOS release and put a much greater emphasis onto on-device AI and ML processing.

Apple has a large-language model (LLM) dubbed Ajax, which will be the company's answer to the ChatGPT, Google's Gemini, Microsoft's Copilot, etc. Ajax could be used to fuel Siri and make Apple's smart assistant way smarter than it currently is.

iOS 18 will arrive to a whole trove of iPhones out there, but the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max could potentially be dropped from the support list. However, rumors claim these might still be supported by iOS 18

As they will be launched in 2024, the iPhone 16 lineup should receive at least five years of major software updates and security patches, and possibly more. This means the upcoming phones will be supported until the end of the decade, and possibly even longer than that. 

  • Enhanced microphones: The iPhone 16 lineup will feature vastly improved microphones. The main reason for that could be the improved Siri capabilities that are possibly coming along. A significantly improved Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is included in this upgrade to deliver a more intuitive voice assistant experience, as well as enhanced waterproofing.

iPhone 16 hardware: Second-gen 3nm Apple A18 chip

According to the most recent rumors, all iPhone 16 models might be powered by the same Apple A18 chip, but the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max might get a slightly buffed-up version of the silicon, possibly dubbed the A18 Pro. It'll make sense that Apple would differentiate the affordable from the premium iPhones; we'd wager that the A18 Pro could have an extra performance core or two, as well as slightly higher clock speed, to give it that edge over the regular A18 chip. Analyst Jeff Pu, who first raised those expectations, believes that Apple won't equip the iPhone 16 and the iPhone 16 Plus with the older A17 Pro chip.

Regardless of the specs and semantics, all Apple A18 chips will be manufactured on TSMC's second-generation 3nm process, dubbed N3E, which would potentially allow for much greater yield and less defective dies. The N3E process should also technically deliver greater efficiency, which could lead to better battery life, a critical improvement all things considered.

Some preliminary leaks exploring the potential performance gains of the Apple A18 chip have surfaced in China, but it's extremely early to draw any conclusions yet. As per the leak, the A18 scores 2822 points in the GeekBench 6 single-core test and 8571 in the multicore test. That's slightly lower than the A17 Pro chip in the single-core test (2958 points), but higher than the multicore result (7288 points) as per our benchmark tests. 

iPhone 16 Preliminary Comparisons

Although the iPhone 16 range is still not official, we've already compiled our preliminary comparisons between the upcoming devices and their current best rivals. 

Should you wait for the iPhone 16?

  • You should wait for the iPhone 16 if you haven't upgraded in a while and are clinging to a relatively older iPhone. Anyone with a phone older than the iPhone 12 lineup should probably wait to see what major improvements the iPhone 16 could potentially deliver. The generational leap between the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 16 would be sufficient to warrant an upgrade, which would deliver a lot of value to the user. 

  • You should not wait for the iPhone 16 if you've recently got a new phone (iPhone or other) and you are perfectly fine with using it for multiple years to come. Those using devices from the iPhone 15, iPhone 14, and iPhone 13 families probably won't be enticed by the potential improvements of the iPhone 16 range, so they should probably hold off on upgrading. Then again, the FOMO and that tempting feeling to always have the best tech might have another say on the matter. 

Latest iPhone 16 rumors

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