Stop looking forward to the iPhone 16 - you might be disappointed: Buy Apple's best mistake instead!

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Stop looking forward to the iPhone 16 - you might be disappointed: Buy Apple's best mistake instead!
After years of iterative upgrades in the familiar Apple fashion, iPhone 15 turned out to be one of the biggest refreshes in the entire history of Steve Jobs’ invention (which recently turned 17).

And since it’s now the beginning of 2024, many iPhone users with older devices might start thinking whether or not it’s time for an upgrade. However, just like every year, there’s the option to wait for the next new iPhone - in this case, the iPhone 16.

And while in past years I would’ve advised those who aren’t in urgent need of an upgrade to “just wait a bit more”, in 2024, this option actually looks difficult to justify.

In other words, here’s why waiting for the iPhone 16 series might be a bad idea for pretty much everyone but iPhone 14 Pro users.

You should probably upgrade your old iPhone to the iPhone 15 right now instead of waiting for the iPhone 16

To make one thing clear, the iPhone 16 series is far away from becoming official, which means we don’t know exactly what to expect from Apple’s 2024 flagship. Still, this doesn’t stop the early leaks/rumors from coming in, which means we’re already starting to gain a better idea of what the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max should look like.

According to leaks and rumors the vanilla iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus models should be an iterative spec bump compared to the iPhone 15. We don’t expect a new design, display, big changes to the camera system (although a 48MP ultra-wide camera is in the cards for some iPhone 16 models), etc.

The only real surprise Apple can bring to the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus is the long-awaited 120Hz display from the Pro models but display analyst Ross Young claims ProMotion is saved for the iPhone 17, which makes you wonder if the iPhone 16 will bring any surprising new features at all.

As far as the iPhone 16 Pro Max is concerned, this one should be very similar to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, save for a slightly taller 6.9-inch display and a 48MP ultra-wide camera.

Dynamic Island aside, don’t expect the new iPhone 16 to look new - even if you’re upgrading from the iPhone 12

But perhaps the most disappointing part about the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max is that they are expected to look almost exactly like their iPhone 15 counterparts… again.

The overall design of the current iPhone with the was introduced all the way back in 2019 with the iPhone 11 series, while the familiar (from the iPhone 5) flat frame first appeared in 2020 with the iPhone 12. In fact, the iPhone 16 is expected to return to a vertical camera layout, which looks exactly the same as the one from iPhone 11 and iPhone 12.

All in all, this leaves us with an iPhone 16 that looks more or less like a mix of the 2019-2020 iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, and I don’t know about you but I’m starting to yawn at this iconic but repetitive look. Makes you wonder if the iPhone’s camera island and colors will ever be upgraded to something truly different.

The only reason to wait for the iPhone 16 series is the 6.3-inch iPhone 16 Pro

In case you were wondering why I haven’t mentioned the iPhone 16 Pro in this story, that’s because I’m a little bit biassed towards it. In fact, I consider it the only new iPhone 16 model worth waiting for right now.

As you might know, iPhone 16 Pro is expected to bump the screen size of the smaller Pro iPhone model for the first time since 2019, jumping from 6.1-inches to 6.3-inches. And while this is far from the definition of a “game-changing upgrade”, I believe it’ll make the 6.3-inch iPhone 16 Pro the perfect compromise for those who want a large iPhone screen that’s also usable with one hand. And that’s a big deal in my book.

In this line of thought, iPhone 16 Pro is expected to gain Apple’s 5x periscope zoom camera, which has so far been reserved for the Pro Max model - allegedly due to space constraints. In other words, the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max shouldn’t be separated by anything but the differences in screen and battery size, which is the only right way to do it, Apple!

Apple rarely makes mistakes but the iPhone 15 was a “happy accident” worth buying in the beginning of 2024

In the end, let’s not forget that not knowing what a new phone might look like doesn’t mean you can’t make an educated guess about what it’s not going to look like. And even with the leaks and rumors aside, it’s pretty safe to guess Apple won’t be going all-in with the iPhone 16 series.

iPhone 15 Pro and especially the iPhone 15 Pro Max brought big upgrades compared to the iPhone 14 Pro series thanks to notable changes to image processing, feel-in-the-hand, weight, the first 3nm SoC in the business, and… USB-C.

Meanwhile, the vanilla iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models were a huge surprise for many tech nerds, including me. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the vanilla iPhone 15 is the one iPhone 15 model I’d personally buy (if I was upgrading). The upgrades compared to the disappointing iPhone 14 were huge across the board, meaning Apple has set the bar extremely high now. A bar iPhone 16 certainly won’t be able (or allowed) to jump.

Apple rarely makes mistakes but the iPhone 15 certainly looks like a “happy accident” that’s worth buying in the beginning of 2024 just as much as it was worth buying when it first came out. In fact, you could possibly get it for some $100-200 less if you shop around on Amazon/BestBuy/eBay.

Any iPhone 15 users? Are you happy with what the $800 iPhone offers in 2024?

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