iPhone 16: release date speculation, latest leaks, price predictions and more

iPhone 15 on an orange background
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

The iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max are already among the most highly anticipated phones of 2024, despite the iPhone 15 line having launched less than six months ago.

There's still a fair amount of time to wait until we see Apple's next handsets, but that hasn't stopped the iPhone 16 rumors from arriving in earnest. Indeed, we've already got a vague picture of what the iPhone 16 and its siblings could bring to the mobile table later this year.

Highlights include camera upgrades, a new ‘Capture’ button, and larger displays for the Pro models, and one thing we do know is that the new phones will feature support for the Apple Vision Pro (check out our full Apple Vision Pro review to see what we think of the new mixed-reality headset).

But there are plenty of other leaks to be digested, too, and below, you’ll find everything we’ve heard about these upcoming best iPhone contenders so far.

Latest leaks

iPhone 16 release date speculation

  • Likely to launch in the first half of September 2024
  • The shipping date will probably be a week or so later

It goes without saying, but since Apple has only just released the iPhone 15 line (relatively speaking), we can’t know exactly when the iPhone 16 line will arrive. That said, we can make some predictions based on past Apple form.

If the company sticks to tradition, we expect Apple to announce the release date for the iPhone 16 at the 2024 edition of its annual September launch event. We’re unlikely to learn the actual date of that event until sometime in August 2024, however we can use the dates of bygone Apple events to predict when next year’s Apple event might take place, and therefore when the iPhone 16 could hit shelves.

Apple generally picks the first or second week of September for its annual iPhone launches, and usually opts for a Tuesday, though occasionally the company goes for a Wednesday. The 2023 (read: iPhone 15) edition of Apple’s September event fell on September 12, with all four of the iPhone 15 models announced at the time going on sale just over a week later, on September 15.

That means September 3 or 10 are quite likely launch days for the iPhone 16 in 2024 (both dates are Tuesdays), though September 4 and 11 are possibilities, too. As with the iPhone 15, the iPhone 16 will probably begin shipping a week after pre-orders go live.

iPhone 16 price predictions

Apple iPhone 15

The iPhone 15 starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,499 (Image credit: Apple)
  • Tipsters are in disagreement over iPhone 16 pricing

For obvious reasons, we're unlikely to learn official iPhone 16 pricing until September next year, and tipsters are already divided over whether Apple will increase or decrease prices next year.

Currently, Apple's cheapest iPhone 15 model, the standard iPhone 15, starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,499, while its most expensive, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, starts at $1,199 / £1,399 / AU$2,099. These figures could be mimicked by the iPhone 16 line in 2024, just as the iPhone 15 mimicked the iPhone 14 line on the price front.

However, some analysts predict that the iPhone 16 could actually be cheaper than the iPhone 15. This is because Apple reportedly plans to switch the process it uses to manufacture iPhone chipsets at some point in 2024, which could impact iPhone prices for the end consumer.

That said, on the flip side, the iPhone 16 could be more expensive than the iPhone 15 due to rising production costs. According to a recent Nikkei Asia report, the iPhone 15 Pro Max costs Apple $558 to produce; a 12% increase over the equivalent production cost of the ‌iPhone 14 Pro Max.

We've similarly heard that the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max might have more expensive cameras, which could push their prices up.

If production costs continue to rise, Apple may be forced to increase iPhone 16 retail prices in a bid to protect its bottom line. In other words, we could be looking at an iPhone 16 that costs in excess of $799 / £799 / AU$1,499 at its most basic, with an iPhone 16 Pro Max that starts at more than $1,199 / £1,199 / AU$2,199.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that Apple may debut its first Ultra-branded iPhone in 2024. Initially, rumors purported that an iPhone 15 Ultra would be replacing the iPhone 15 Pro Max this year, but that didn't happen, and analysts now predict that an iPhone 16 Ultra will debut next year, instead.

It’s not yet clear whether this Ultra iPhone would arrive in addition to or instead of an iPhone 16 Pro Max, but it is almost certain that Apple’s first Ultra iPhone will be the most expensive iPhone ever.

iPhone 16 possible screen sizes

iPhone 15 Pro Max held in a hand

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the largest iPhone currently available (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • Larger displays, new aspect ratio for Pro models
  • Standard model likely to remain 6.1 inches

When it comes to screen sizes, we’ve heard rumors that the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max could be the biggest iPhones yet.

Specifically, serial Apple tipster Ross Young claims that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Ultra (or iPhone 16 Pro Max, as it may be called) will boast 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch screens, respectively, with both phones getting a new 19.6:9 aspect ratio, too. This would make them the tallest and narrowest iPhones ever.

These 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch sizes have now been backed up by a second report, while a third leak similarly claims the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max screens will be 0.2 inches larger than their predecessors. Similarly, another leak suggests the iPhone 16 Pro will have a 6.27-inch screen and the iPhone 16 Pro Max will have a 6.86-inch one.

We've heard these size increases another time too, but this time with the added claim that the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max will have smaller bezels, meaning the overall size of the phones won't increase. Since then, another source has claimed that all four iPhone 16 models will have smaller bezels.

For reference, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max use 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screens, respectively, with every iPhone 15 model sporting an aspect ratio of 19.5:9.

The below mock-ups – created by 9to5Mac – illustrate just how much taller and narrower the iPhone 16 Ultra will appear versus the equivalent model in the iPhone 15 series.

iPhone 15 Ultra vs iPhone 16 Ultra size comparision

The iPhone 16 Pro Max/Ultra will reportedly be taller and narrower than its iPhone 15 equivalent (Image credit: 9to5Mac)

Why might Apple be thinking about beefing up its already-beefy iPhones? Well, these larger iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Ultra screen sizes will supposedly make room for some serious camera upgrades (more on these later).

Ross Young notes that the standard iPhone 16 will stick with the same 19.5:9 aspect ratio as today’s best iPhones, though these dimension changes will potentially trickle down to the iPhone 17 and iPhone 17 Plus in 2025.

That's roughly in line with another leak, which puts the iPhone 16's display at 6.12 inches and the iPhone 16 Plus's at 6.69 inches, with both basic iPhone 16 models sadly being said to have a 60Hz refresh rate again, like their predecessors.

Beyond the sizes, the iPhone 16 line might have brighter screens than their predecessors – at least when viewed from the front. Apple is reportedly considering incorporating tech that would allow for this, while also being more power efficient, so battery life might be improved.

However, this would increase the production costs of the phones, and would reportedly make the screen seem less bright when viewed from the side, so it wouldn't be a complete upgrade.

iPhone 16 design rumors

The iPhone 15 from the front and back

The iPhone 15 from the front and back (Image credit: Apple)
  • Standard iPhone 16 rumored to sport iPhone 12-style camera layout
  • Face ID components could be hidden under the screen
  • Every model could feature a new 'Capture' button

We haven’t heard too many iPhone 16 design rumors so far, but there are a handful of predictions already out in the wild.

The first refers to the arrangement of Face ID components on the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and South Korean outlet The Elec report that both phones will have their Face ID components hidden under the screen, similar to how many of the best Android phones now have under-display fingerprint scanners. This won’t completely eliminate the selfie camera cut-out – as the sensor itself will reportedly still be visible – but it could allow Apple to reduce its size down to a small punch-hole module. 

The Elec claims that this design change will simply act as a stopgap for Apple, whose ultimate goal is to develop a completely uninterrupted, cut-out-less iPhone display.

iPhone 14 Pro Max review Dynamic Island music small

The Face ID camera (above) might be hidden on the iPhone 16 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The second iPhone 16 design rumor refers to the standard iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, exclusively. According to Twitter leaker @URedditor, the iPhone 16 will sport a vertical camera layout, rather than the diagonal setup used on every iPhone since the iPhone 13. “This will make the device instantly recognizable as the latest model” in 2024, @URedditor writes.

This rumor was further collaborated in February 2024, when Apple Hub shared (via X) a mock-up of the iPhone 16’s rear panel. Serial iPhone leaker Majin Bu also shared leaked iPhone 16 schematics – detailing an iPhone with an identical two-lens vertical camera layout – around the same time.

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The standard iPhone 15 sticks with the same camera arrangement as the iPhone 14 – albeit with the addition of a 48MP main lens – so it figures that Apple could shake-up the appearance of the iPhone 16 by, well, going back to what it knows.

We've also had a camera component leak that seems to back up the idea that the rear camera lenses are going to be vertically aligned.

This was followed up by an image supposedly showing iPhone 16 camera molds and a mockup of the back of the phone, both of which also had this design. All the signs then are pointing in one direction as far as this rumor goes.

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The iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max could also have a redesigned camera block, but in this case the lenses might be housed in a raised triangle. It's an odd design and not one we're convinced will happen, but you never know.

The most interesting iPhone 16 design rumor we've heard so far applies to every model in the lineup. According to sources familiar with the development of the iPhone 16 line, Apple’s next smartphones will feature an additional, capacitive button, known internally as the "Capture” button. The source gives no hint as to the purpose of this new button, but its name suggests that it could somehow relate to the iPhone 16’s camera functionality.

Indeed, we've since heard from another leak that the iPhone 16's Capture button will be “a new dedicated button for taking video.” 

Two iPhone 14 Pro phones on a blue background

The iPhone 16 will reportedly feature a new button below the power button (Image credit: Apple)

Unlike mechanical buttons, capacitive (or solid-state) buttons don’t move when pressed. Instead, they feature haptic engines that provide physical feedback (read: vibrations). The Home button on the iPhone SE (2022) is a capacitive button, as are the trackpads on newer MacBook models, so it’s safe to expect that this new "Capture” button will feel similar to the touch.

Early on in the iPhone 15 rumor cycle, the iPhone 15 Pro was tipped to be getting capacitive volume and power buttons. Then, in April 2023, Apple reportedly u-turned on its decision to include capacitive buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro, with the company reportedly needing more time to develop the haptic engines required to power them. Now, it looks like these capacitive buttons will indeed be debuting on the iPhone 16 line, albeit in the form of an entirely new button, rather than redesigned volume and power buttons.

However, we've heard this mystery new iPhone 16 button mentioned by a second source now too, and they added that the Action button will also be capacitive.

All that said, one source has instead claimed that the iPhone 16's Capture button will be mechanical, and that it will let you zoom the camera in and out by swiping across it, focus the camera with a light press, and snap a photo or start recording a video with a hard press.

Another source has also mentioned both the Capture button and the Action button, saying that there's "extensive evidence" that the latter will come to every iPhone 16 model, and that both will be capacitive.

This design, along with some earlier iPhone 16 prototypes that Apple has likely now decided against, have leaked, as you can see in the renders above, with the black model being the design described above, and the one Apple is most likely to use. All three of the colors above (yellow, pink, and black) may ultimately be offered by the iPhone 16, though.

Since then, we've also seen mockups of how the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will reportedly look, which you can see below.

An unofficial render of the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max

(Image credit: MacRumors)

These show a similar design to the current Pro models, but with larger screens (6.3 and 6.9 inches respectively), and a new Capture button. The Face ID components however aren't hidden under the screen, which conflicts with some earlier leaks.

The same source also said to expect the same colors as last year from the Pro models, but perhaps with one additional unknown shade.

That iPhone 16 Pro shade might be Rose according to a newer leak, though example imagery shows it as more of a rose gold shade. This will apparently be joined by White, Gray, and Space Black, all of which sound similar to iPhone 14 Pro colors, but it seems you won't be able to get a Pro model in blue this time.

iPhone 16 camera rumors

iPhone 15 Pro Max

The rear camera array of the iPhone 15 Pro Max (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • Periscope lens for both Pro models
  • ‘Super-telephoto’ periscope lens rumored for Pro Max
  • 48MP ultra-wide camera rumored, too

On the topic of cameras, the standard iPhone 16 could sport the same 48MP main and 12MP ultra-wide dual-sensor setup as the iPhone 15, and indeed early leaks suggest as much.

As usual, the more meaningful camera upgrades are likely destined for the iPhone 16 Pro, iPhone 16 Pro Max and/or iPhone 16 Ultra. Indeed, the iPhone 16 Pro could be the first mid-sized iPhone with a periscope zoom lens – a feature that’s currently exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in 2023. 

We've heard this rumor a few times now, with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claiming as recently as September 2023 that the iPhone 16 Pro will inherit the ‘tetraprism’ periscope camera technology used by the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and analyst Jeff Pu saying the same about the iPhone 16 Pro in October.

Even more recently, Ming-Chi Kuo reiterated his 5x zoom camera claims in November, adding that the production yield on this camera is now much higher than it was, which might mean Apple is better able to equip multiple phones with it.

Periscope cameras – which get their name from their similarity to the instrument used on submarines and other naval vessels – essentially allow the viewer to zoom to extreme lengths while maintaining image quality. In the limited space of a phone's camera module, a periscope camera uses mirrors to allow for more lens elements, and therefore a longer zoom length – not to mention it can be mounted transversely.

As mentioned in the display section of this article, the larger 6.3-inch screen size of the iPhone 16 Pro will supposedly accommodate this inevitably hefty periscope camera.

Mockup of an iPhone equipped with a periscope camera

Mockup of an iPhone equipped with a periscope camera (Image credit: MacRumors)

The addition of a periscope zoom lens on the iPhone 16 Pro won’t necessarily bring parity between the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max (or iPhone 16 Ultra), however.

Indeed, reports suggest that this supersized 6.9-inch iPhone could get what’s known as a ‘super-telephoto’ periscope camera. ‘Super telephoto’ is a term used to describe lenses with focal lengths of over 300mm. Such lenses enable photographers to capture close-up images of distant scenes and subjects, like sporting events and wildlife.

Apple’s current iPhones are already among the best camera phones on the market, but this ‘super-telephoto’ periscope camera would represent a potentially game-changing upgrade for the iPhone 16 Pro Max. For comparison, the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 5x telephoto zoom camera sports a focal length of up to 120mm, while the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 10x telephoto zoom camera sports a focal length of 230mm.

We've heard that both the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max might use thin molded glass for their telephoto cameras, which could help them fit extended zooms distances into a similar size.

Apple's iPhone 16 Pro models are rumored to get a 48MP ultra-wide camera, too, which would mark a big improvement over the 12MP ultra-wide camera currently used by the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The ultra-wide setup on Apple’s current best iPhones isn’t bad, by any means – the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max take consistently bright and vibrant wide-angle photos. However, this rumored 48MP ultra-wide lens on the iPhone 16 Pro should capture much more light, resulting in even more impressive low-light photos.

Indeed, both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max already boast a 48MP main camera that uses "pixel binning" technology to merge data from four pixels into one "super pixel” for improved low-light image capture, and this technology will presumably make its way into the iPhone 16 Pro’s rumored 48MP ultra-wide lens.

iPhone 16 possible features

iPhone 14 Pro Max review front straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • A17 Pro or A18 chipset likely for iPhone 16
  • A18 Pro/Bionic chipset likely for Pro models
  • Battery size changes across the board

We haven’t heard all that much about the processors set to be used in the iPhone 16 line – except that Apple plans to change its chipset manufacturing process in 2024 – but we can make some fairly assured predictions based on typical Apple behavior.

Given that the standard iPhone 15 inherited the A16 Bionic chipset from the iPhone 14 Pro, and both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max got Apple's shiny new A17 Pro chipset, we think that the standard iPhone 16 will inherit the A17 Pro from the iPhone 15 Pro, while the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max gets an as yet unnamed A18 Pro/Bionic.

That said, one leak points to every iPhone 16 model having an A18 chipset, so they might all be equally powerful. The source notes, however, that it's possible there will still be some differentiation, with the Pro phones perhaps having a Pro version of the chipset.

Even the A18 Pro might not be massively powerful though, with one leak stating that the A18 Pro is just around 10% more powerful than the A17 Pro, and another suggesting that it will be less powerful than the rival Snapdragon 8 Gen 4.

We've also heard that the A18 Pro probably won't support LPDDR6 RAM, which could put it at a disadvantage compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 when it comes to AI tasks.

Either way though, these chipsets will inevitably bring superior performance and longevity to the iPhone 16 line, compared to the iPhone 15, but Apple’s processors have become so efficient in recent years that these upgrades are likely to appear negligible when it comes to real-world use. In any case, leakers have indeed suggested that the entire iPhone 16 range will be kitted out with 3nm chips.

For RAM, one leak suggests that all four iPhone 16 models will have 8GB. That would be an upgrade for the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus, but no change for the Pro models.

We've since heard from another source that the base iPhone 16 might have either 8GB of RAM or 256GB of storage, or both, with the extra being there to benefit AI.

However, the iPhone 16 Pro models might support Wi-Fi 7 and have a new 5G modem according to one leak, which would mean upgraded Wi-Fi and 5G speeds, which the standard iPhone 16 models wouldn't be able to match.

Those 8GB of RAM for all iPhone 16 models and a 5G modem upgrade for the Pro ones claims have since been reiterated by the same source three months later, which suggests they're very confident of this.

We've also heard about storage, with the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max reportedly getting up to 2TB, which would be double the current capacity. This is reportedly due to a change in storage technology, with the new tech taking up less space and potentially also being cheaper, but slower and less reliable.

Dynamic Island on an orange background

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

On the battery front, serial Apple tipster Majin Bu has teased (via X) that the iPhone 16 will feature a 6% larger battery than the iPhone 15 (3,561mAh vs 3,349 mAh), while the iPhone 16 Pro Max will feature a 5% larger battery than the iPhone 15 Pro Max (4,676mAh vs 4,422mAh).

Bu has “not been able to obtain information on the Pro model for the moment,” but the tipster does write that the iPhone 16 Plus – in stark contrast to its siblings – will feature a 9% smaller battery than the iPhone 15 Plus

That might not be a bad thing, though. All four iPhone 15 models were rumored to come with a new stacked battery design – of the sort used in electric vehicles – so there's a chance that this more efficient battery technology will instead make its way into Apple’s 2024 iPhones.

In theory, stacked batteries can be more tightly packaged and offer a higher energy density than current mobile batteries, so the iPhone 16 series may offer serious battery life improvements over the iPhone 15 line (despite the potentially reduced size of the 16 Plus' battery).

We've also elsewhere heard that the iPhone 16 Pro Max could have the biggest and longest lasting battery ever in an iPhone.

iPhone Lightning port next to a USB-C cable

USB-C is a formality for the iPhone 16 line (Image credit: Shutterstock / kurgenc)

The iPhone 16 line might all include graphene heat sinks too, according to one source, with the Pro models additionally having a metal battery housing. This is to help keep them cooler, so they can avoid the overheating issues of the iPhone 15 series.

Beyond that, we expect Apple to offer reverse wireless charging functionality across the entire iPhone 16 line.

Oh, and like the iPhone 15 line, every iPhone 16 model will sport a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port, thanks to new EU regulations that become legally binding in 2024.

We also expect AI to play a big role in the functionality of the iPhone 16 (especially when compared to previous-generation iPhones), while some degree of Apple Vision Pro integration seems inevitable, too. Indeed, Apple is reportedly spending over $1 billion a year on AI development, and we know that several iPhone-specific AI features are on track for a big unveiling at WWDC 2024.

Though interestingly the company is apparently in talks with Google, to have Google Gemini power at least some of its AI tools, which might mean the iPhone 16 has similar AI capabilities to the Pixel 8.

We've also heard that the A18 pRO chipset likely to power the iPhone 16 line could have "significantly" more cores in its Neural Engine, and that the A18 Pro might also have a larger die area, all of which should benefit its AI abilities.

However, one leak suggests that the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max could get some exclusive AI features, so you might need to buy a Pro model to experience Apple's take on AI.

With an upgraded Siri likely to be the centerpiece of Apple's AI push, the company is reportedly also going to upgrade the microphones on the iPhone 16 line, so that Siri can hear you better and respond more accurately.

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.