iPhone 16: Release Date, Prices, Colors, Features

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In June, we will learn more about Apple’s vision for an AI future at WWDC 2024, where we will also get a glimpse of what iOS18 brings to the new AI-enhanced iPhone 16 range.

Early iPhone 16 rumors suggest the new range of handsets will have larger 6.3″ and 6.9″ displays for the Pro models, a new “Capture” button, a universally available Action button across all variants, a faster A-series chip, vertically aligned camera buttons for standard models, and advanced Wi-Fi 7 connectivity — oh, and new colors.

As we move closer to the release, let’s delve into what we know about the iPhone 16, including its release date, prices, and critical features.

Key Takeaways

  • The iPhone 16, with AI features, is expected in September 2024.
  • The iPhone 16 Pro model is expected to have a larger 6.3″ screen and a 6.9″ overall size.
  • The iPhone 16 Pro Max may reach 6.9 inches.
  • The Action button ‘will be available across all Apple iPhone 16 models.’
  • A faster A-series chip and Wi-Fi 7 connectivity equal a new era for hardware.

When is the iPhone 16 Coming Out?

Expected Release Date: September 2024

Although Apple has yet to provide an official iPhone 16 release date, it’s expected to follow Apple’s traditional release pattern and be launched in September 2024.

We all know Apple — the company keeps its cards close to its chest until CEO Tim Cook (and Steve Jobs before him) is standing on stage.

But history often rhymes; we know manufacturers are busy at work on iPhone components, and even with Apple’s secretive nature, some things become a tradition.

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So we expect September — the interesting details (as we explore below) will be about the hardware and software refinements packed into the new models.

What is the iPhone 16’s Launch Price?

Expected iPhone 16 Price: Starting at $799

Pricing remains speculative, but rising component costs and Apple’s historical pricing strategies suggest that a slight increase in price from the previous models could be on the horizon.

All eyes will be on Apple to see whether the company makes the bold decision to increase the price of every model by $100 and use AI announcements to justify the additional cost or chooses to play it safe and hold last year’s prices.

The speculated price for the iPhone 16 is expected to be between $799 and $899.

The iPhone 16 Plus might range from $899 to $999. The iPhone 16 Pro could be set between $999 and $1,099, and the iPhone 16 Pro Max could fall between $1,199 and $1,299.

Although this approach would help Apple maintain its revenue margins despite increased production costs, the jury must determine how cash-strapped consumers would receive this.

iPhone 16: Rumored Specs of All Models

Model iPhone 16 iPhone 16 Plus iPhone 16 Pro iPhone 16 Pro Max
Processor A18 A18 A18 A18
Display 6.1 inches 6.7 inches 6.3-inch 6.9-inch
Main Camera 48MP 48MP 48MP 48MP
Front Camera 12MP 12MP 12MP 12MP
Ultra-Wide Camera

 

12MP 12MP 48MP 48MP
Telephoto Camera N/A N/A 12MP 300mm Super Telephoto
Battery 3,561mAh (+6%) 4,006 mAh (-9%) 3,355 mAh (+2.5%) 4,676 mAh (+5%)
Ram 8GB of RAM 8GB of RAM 8GB of RAM 8GB of RAM
Storage 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB

iPhone 16 Design & Display

From 6.3” Displays to New Camera Layout

Apple is set to expand the dimensions of its Pro models, with the iPhone 16 Pro expected to feature a 6.3-inch display and the iPhone 16 Pro Max stretching to a sizable 6.9 inches, marking a significant leap in screen size that hasn’t been seen for several years.

Meanwhile, the buzz around a potentially game-changing “iPhone 16 Ultra” has captured the imagination of tech enthusiasts. This rumored addition would represent Apple’s prime offering, speculated to boast a larger screen, advanced camera capabilities, and a groundbreaking portless design.

However, a dive into early iOS 18 code reveals no concrete evidence of this Ultra model, indicating that Apple might focus on refining its existing four-model strategy, which includes two standard and two Pro versions.

The Ultra’s absence in the codebase could temper expectations, yet it also keeps the community guessing what surprises Apple might still unveil.

 

Pro and standard models are slated to adopt a new vertical camera layout, departing from the traditional diagonal setup. This alignment could integrate advanced spatial video capabilities designed to complement Apple’s Vision Pro headset.

iPhone 16 Color Variants & Finish

Titanium Finish for Pro and Max, New Colors… And Some Old Favorites

Anticipation is also building around the new color options for the iPhone 16. According to rumors posted on Weibo Today, Apple fans can look forward to choosing from a palette that includes blue, pink, yellow, green, black, white, and purple.

Meanwhile Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told followers on Twitter on May 19 to expect new color options.

Kuo said that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max may come in black, white (“silver”), gray (“Natural Titanium”), and even a new rose color.

 

According to other leaks, Apple is reportedly introducing two new colors: White and Purple.

The Purple is expected to differ from previous iterations, possibly presenting a softer, more pastel shade, adding a fresh twist to the lineup.

The titanium finish introduced in previous models is expected to continue; the expected colors include Natural Titanium, White Titanium, and Blue Titanium.

Rumors of a new Space Black Titanium and a Rose Titanium would harken back to the richer tones of earlier iPhone generations. This blend of classic and new colors would reflect Apple’s strategy to cater to traditional tastes and those seeking something different in their aesthetics.

iPhone 16’s Camera

Advanced 5x Optical Zoom Lens?

The iPhone 16 Pro models should include a Tetraprism 5x optical zoom lens. This would provide superior zoom capabilities without compromising image quality, ideal for capturing clear images from a distance.

Additionally, all Pro models will feature a new 48-megapixel ultra-wide lens, dramatically improving performance in low-light conditions, which is a highly anticipated upgrade for those passionate about photography.

Apple is also tackling the persistent issues of lens flare and ghosting affecting previous iPhone models by implementing atomic layer deposition technology to apply anti-reflective coatings on camera lenses. This approach minimizes reflections that lead to image distortions and enhances the overall durability of the camera system without affecting its sensitivity to light.

These improvements, though subtle, are expected to significantly refine the photography experience by producing clearer, more vibrant images without the artifacts that typically plague smartphone photos when shooting in bright conditions.

The attention to detail underscores Apple’s commitment to providing users with not just functional improvements but also technical enhancements that cater to the high standards of iPhone photographers.

iPhone 16’s Action Button

Action Button Across All New Models?

The rumored introduction of an Action Button across all iPhone 16 models marks a significant shift in Apple’s approach to user interface design and is reminiscent of the earlier adoption of the Touch Bar on the MacBook.

Unlike the Touch Bar, however, the Action Button is set to provide developers with seamless integration, offering a new layer of interactivity without the steep learning curve associated with previous innovations.

This expansion of the Action Button to all models, including the standard iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, addresses a previously noted disparity — only the more premium iPhone 15 Pro models featured this functionality.

With its placement standardized across the range, the Action Button could enable a uniform experience for iPhone users, ensuring that all have access to customizable shortcuts for everyday tasks like activating the camera or flashlight, thereby enhancing efficiency and ease of use.

Yet, the universal inclusion of the Action Button also poses challenges, particularly regarding app compatibility across different iPhone generations.

Developers must now design flexible applications to leverage this feature where available while remaining fully functional on older models that lack it.

This dual requirement underscores Apple’s balancing act between innovation and inclusivity, as it aims to push the boundaries of smartphone technology while maintaining a broad and satisfied user base.

iPhone 16 Performance Enhancements

New Apple A18 Chip?

Under the hood of the iPhone 16, rumors suggest that the heart of all models will be a new A18 chip manufactured using the cutting-edge N3E 3-nanometer process. This advancement promises efficiency and processing power enhancements, catering to the growing demands of sophisticated mobile applications and games.

Additionally, both Pro and standard models are expected to include improved thermal management systems, possibly integrating graphene, which offers superior thermal conductivity.

iPhone 16 Battery Life and Connectivity

Good and Bad News for New Battery Sizes

On the connectivity front, the iPhone 16 Pro models may feature the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon X75 modem, supporting enhanced 5G capabilities.

In contrast, the standard models continue with the X70 chip used in the iPhone 15 series. This differentiation underscores Apple’s strategy of equipping higher-end models with superior technology to justify the premium pricing.

On battery sizes, it’s a mixed bag. According to a Korean leak, as spotted by PhoneArena, the iPhone 16 Pro Max may get a 5% power bump over the iPhone 15 Pro Max — from 4,422mAh to 4,676mAh. Other reports in May 2024 also suggested a Pro battery boost.

But if the rumors are true, the iPhone 16 Plus will see a drop from 4,383mAh to 4,006mAh – a perhaps baffling 8% drop.

The iPhone 16 may increase by 5.8% to 3,561mAh, while the iPhone 16 Pro may grow 2% to 3,355mAh — but as PhoneArena points out, this may be negated by a larger screen.

What to Expect from iOS 18

The software experience with iOS 18 on the iPhone 16 is rumored to integrate new AI-driven features, enhancing interactions with Siri and other core applications.

These improvements will likely make the iPhone more intuitive and user-friendly, aligning with Apple’s vision of a seamless technology experience.

The Bottom Line

With its promising new features and enhancements, the iPhone 16 is expected to offer a refined user experience marked by superior performance, enhanced display and camera technologies, and innovative design changes. Whether these advancements justify an upgrade will depend on individual preferences and the final product revealed by Apple.

As marketing teams continue to build FOMO with Apple users’ cult-like following, there are still many more questions than answers.

Will the iPhone 16 redefine our mobile experience, or will it be another digital upgrade of the emperor’s new clothes folktale, where three days after purchasing the latest model, you realize it’s just another iPhone?

FAQs

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Neil C. Hughes
Senior Technology Writer
Neil C. Hughes
Senior Technology Writer

Neil is a freelance tech journalist with 20 years of experience in IT. He’s the host of the popular Tech Talks Daily Podcast, picking up a LinkedIn Top Voice for his influential insights in tech. Apart from Techopedia, his work can be found on INC, TNW, TechHQ, and Cybernews. Neil's favorite things in life range from wandering the tech conference show floors from Arizona to Armenia to enjoying a 5-day digital detox at Glastonbury Festival and supporting Derby County.  He believes technology works best when it brings people together.