iPhone 16 Pro: Release date rumors, news, and more

iPhone 16
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

The iPhone 16 Pro is expected to give all the power of Apple's best iPhone, in a smaller frame at a reduced price point. Originally launched back in 2020 with the iPhone 11 Pro, Apple's Pro range of iPhones has been the perfect middle-ground — offering advanced specs whilst not being too cumbersome to hold.

This year, it is expected to get a bump in processing power, some new camera upgrades, and the implementation of AI. However, despite recent reports suggesting the iPhone 16 Pro Max would receive a bigger battery, we haven't seen such an update here. 

This is everything we know about the iPhone 16 Pro right now. 

Meet iPhone 16 

Apple has made several steps in recent years to distance the iPhone “Pro” from its regular lineup, which means reserving top-notch features like 120Hz ProMotion, and its highest-powered cameras for those who pay top dollar. 

For 2024, Apple is expected to continue its iPhone lineup first pioneered with the iPhone 14. That means two regular models, the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, and two Pro models, the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max.

To that end, the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max should weigh in at 6.3 and 6.9 inches respectively, up from the 6.1 and 6.7 inches of the iPhone 16, and last year’s lineup. This larger display should be complemented by reduced, thinner bezels to give us the best viewing experience on an iPhone yet. 

Under the hood, Apple is expected to bring an A18 chip of some descript to all four models, possibly with a spicier A18 Pro for the models that share its name. Other headline upgrades include some potent new camera lenses and the advent of AI on iPhone for the first time. The form the latter will take remains to be seen, but we could get a glimpse at WWDC 2024 in the meantime. 

The iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max are expected to debut in their usual September launch window, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty to talk about already. Here’s everything we know about the iPhone 16 Pro lineup.

iPhone 16 Pro: The headlines

  • What is it? Apple's next premium flagship smartphone
  • When can we expect it? September 2024
  • Rumored upgrades: A18 Pro chip, Capture button, AI, battery, 48MP Ultra Wide lens

iPhone 16 Pro: Design

15 Pro Max back

(Image credit: Future)

Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro was a significant design step up from previous models thanks to its all-new titanium finish. The space-age finish gave Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro a vastly improved strength-to-weight ratio, and a much lighter feel. Coupled with much better weight distribution, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max were considerably lighter to hold in hand. 

As mentioned, however, the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max are going to be bigger than last year’s model. That inevitably means more weight. The question of just how much was actually revealed shortly after the iPhone 15 came out. According to leaked stats, both models will be taller and wider than the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max respectively. Naturally, that larger size is also going to add weight too. Here’s the full rundown of how much the iPhone 16 Pro is going to weigh:

Both models are expected to be the same 8.25mm thickness as the previous generation. The iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max are tipped to be 3mm and 4mm taller than their predecessors, respectively, and 1mm wider each. Both are also expected to be ever-so-slightly heavier, weighing 196 and 225 grams respectively, up from 187 and 221 last year. Despite the increase, both will still be significantly lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, which weighed in at 206 grams and 240 grams. Clearly, Apple’s titanium investment is still reaping dividends. 

iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro dummy units

(Image credit: OvO Baby Sauce OvO)

According to a report in March 2024, the iPhone 16 Pro’s titanium will have “improved titanium processing and color processing.” That leaks claims that Apple’s iPhone 16 Pro models will be less prone to scratching and be more polished. The biggest downfall of the titanium finish with the iPhone 15 Pro was the fingerprints, so it will be interesting to see whether Apple can address this at all, just like it did with the M3 MacBook Pro.

Multiple iPhone dummy units leaked ahead of release appear to confirm many of the expected design changes we can expect from both iPhone models this year. Firstly, they confirm the four-phone lineup, and they indicate a subtle size increase in the Pro models, as mentioned above. Beyond this, the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max appear identical to last year in terms of design. They sport the same triple camera configuration on the rear, with a raised camera island. Indeed, reports indicate that only the iPhone 16 will get any kind of design change this year, with a new vertical camera configuration that will enable spatial video shooting for Apple Vision Pro. 

Otherwise, the models reveal Apple should keep the 16 Pro’s Action button and volume buttons, adding a new Capture button to the other side, detailed below!

iPhone 16 Dummy units

(Image credit: Sonny Dickson)

More dummy units leaked in late April further confirm the expected design change for the entire iPhone 16 lineup, and indicate the iPhone 16 Pro will look broadly similar to last year's model. To that end, you can see a three-lens camera configuration, square back with slightly rounded edges, and a raised camera bump. MagSafe is also highlighted in the design, reflecting Apple's ongoing commitment to its magnetic charging ecosystem. 

iPhone 16 dummy

(Image credit: Majin Bu)

iPhone 16 Pro: Release date rumors

The iPhone 16 Pro's release date should fall in the usual September window alongside the iPhone 16. This is the pattern Apple has followed for several years now, save 2020 when it was delayed by the pandemic. 

Apple usually hosts an event to unveil the new iPhone in early September, usually on a Tuesday. It then offers pre-orders the same week, usually on a Friday, with a release date the following week, again on a Friday. 

An educated guess would see the iPhone 16 Pro unveiled on September 3 or September 10, with pre-orders on either September 5 or September 12 respectively. That would see the release tipped for either September 12 or September 19. These dates are just speculation, but there's no indication Apple will break with tradition here. 

Unlike last year, where the iPhone 15 Pro Max took the lead in regards to manufacturing, Apple is betting on the iPhone 16 being one of the bigger launches in the lineup. No such rumor has come out on the iPhone 16 Pro's manufacturing plans. 

iPhone 16 Pro: Display

An iPhone 15 Pro Max against an abstract blur swirling background.

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

The iPhone 15 Pro has the latest display with support for not only the Dynamic Island but also a 120Hz variable refresh rate. It's that latter feature that allows for the Always-On display, something the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus aren't expected to have. But while none of that is expected to be much different from the iPhone 15 Pro, there is one change that has been rumored so far.

That change is a slightly larger display which will take the previous 6.1-inch display and expand it to a new 6.3-inch size. That larger display is also expected to bring with it slightly larger overall dimensions compared to the iPhone 15 Pro, something that might be a consideration for those who enjoyed the more svelte feel of the 2023 flagship model. Likewise, the iPhone 16 Pro Max should grow to 6.9 inches, up from 6.7. 

There have been tentative rumors of a switch to a more power-efficient display, with The Elec reporting that Apple may use micro-lens technology next time out. It remains to be seen if this will come to fruition, however.

In March, a report revealed that Apple is planning to shrink the bezels of both the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro with a new Border Reduction Structure, or BRS. According to reports, BRS "is a borderless display technology that designs the border at the bottom of the panel to be as thin as possible. It reduces the bezel area underneath by rolling the copper wires at the bottom upward." In April, it was reported that Apple's new ultra-thin bezel design was causing production problems on the iPhone 16 lineup, seemingly confirming this upgrade. 

One leak claims that Apple's display might build on the Dynamic Island by introducing a much smaller hole punch notch, however, we've also heard this feature is reserved for next year's iPhone. 

iPhone 16 Pro: Chip and specifications

The iPhone 15 lineup at the Apple Store in Nanjing East, Shanghai, China.

(Image credit: Apple)

With the iPhone 15 Pro shipping with a brand-new 3nm A17 Pro chip inside, we can safely assume that Apple's replacement for that model will be called the A18 Pro. That's something that has been backed up by analyst Jeff Pu. He expects Apple to go with the A18 Pro naming next time out, choosing to give the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus use an equally-new A18.

If the rumors are true we can expect both chips to be built using TSMC's latest N3E manufacturing process, one that makes it cheaper to produce 3nm chips which makes for a better option for Apple. Specifications haven't yet leaked, but we can likely expect the GPU prowess to be the difference between the two chips to ensure the Pro iPhones are more performant when playing games.

Apple is looking ahead to using the 2nm process in future chips, but this is not expected to ship until 2025. 

iPhone 16 Pro: Camera

iPhone 15 Pro review back handheld angled camera

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

If things go the way we've been told to expect, Apple is set to bring the 5x tetraprism telephoto lens from the iPhone 15 Pro Max down to the smaller iPhone 16 Pro. The slightly larger dimensions compared to the iPhone 15 Pro might be what made this possible, but however it happens the addition of an improved zoon capability will be a huge benefit for those who prefer smaller phones.

According to a rumor on Weibo, Apple may include a new 48-megapixel Ultrawide camera. This upgrade has also been reiterated by Ming-Chi Kuo, who reported on the upgrade at the start of 2024. 

To date, no other camera upgrades have been leaked or reported but we're so early in the release cycle that we might learn more in the coming months.

According to the yeux1122 account on Naver, a previously accurate outlet of unreleased iPhone information. Apple is testing a new camera lens with a new coating technology for the iPhone 16 Pro. Apple is expected to add new atomic layer deposition (ALD) equipment into its supply chain. This change will see a reduction in flares on the lens of the iPhone 16 Pro model, thanks to a thin layer of antireflective coating. 

iPhone 16 Pro: Action and Capture button

An iPhone 15 Pro Max against an abstract multi-colored retro background.

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

Action button

When Apple launched the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro they were the first models to gain the Action button. Similar to the button of the same name found on the Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2, it allows people to configure actions that can then be run by pressing a single hardware button.

Recent rumors have suggested that Apple intends to change the Action button in 2024, doing away with the clicky physical button and replacing it with a new, capacitive one. That was rumored before the iPhone 15 Pro launched but Apple ultimately decided against it. In January, it was reported that the iPhone 16 Pro won't improve on the iPhone 15 Pro iteration of the Action button, with the latest prototype reports indicating the Action button won't change in design. 

Capture button

The newly redesigned Action button will be joined by another extra button if reports are true. 

However, as recently as late March, dummy units of the new iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro do have the new Capture button present. In December, it was revealed that Apple's new Capture button would be a separate switch on the right-hand side of the device used for recording videos. More recently, it has been rumored that the iPhone 16 Pro Capture button will be a pressure-sensitive one, just like the shutter on a DSLR camera. It will be used for taking still photos too, and allow for quick focusing with half-press, letting you adjust your focus before you take your shot. 

The Capture button is expected to be a feature of the entire iPhone 16 lineup, rather than a Pro-exclusive feature. It was spotted in iPhone 16 CAD files leaked in March, and also on the aforementioned dummy units for both models. 

Capacitive buttons

According to a new report in April, Apple is going to replace the existing physical buttons on the iPhone 16 with new capacitive buttons. Rather than clicky, mechanical buttons, Apple will instead reportedly offer capacitive buttons powered by vibration motors and Apple's Taptic Engine. These buttons simulate a click when pressed, and reduce the potential for mechanical faults and water ingress. 

However, we don't know exactly which buttons these will be. According to April's report Apple will replace the power and volume buttons on the iPhone with capacitive buttons. There's no word on whether the Action or Capture button will get the capacitive treatment. The latter is expected to sit flush against the iPhone's chassis, so a capacitive button would make more sense there. 

iPhone 16 Pro: Wi-Fi and connectivity

iPhone 15 Review

(Image credit: Future)

According to one report, Apple will include Wi-Fi 7 in its iPhone 16 Pro lineup this year. This would enable faster and more reliable connectivity, with speeds up to four times that of its predecessor. 

More recently, it has emerged that the iPhone 16 Pro will include Qualcomm's Snapdragon X75 modem for powerful 5G connectivity. Unveiled in February, 2023, the X75 is Qualcomm's powerful wireless modem, and "the world’s first Modem-RF System ready for 5G Advanced to drive the future of 5G in mobile and beyond.” Apple currently uses the X70 from Qualcomm in the iPhone 15 lineup. However, this new sixth-generation modem-to-antenna solution includes a new 5F AI suite, using artificial intelligence to optimize connectivity for "better speeds, coverage, mobility, link robustness, and location accuracy.” The chip is also physically smaller, cheaper, and less complex, as well as consuming less power-hungry, making it an upgrade over the existing one in nearly every way. Qualcomm promises "unmatched data speeds, coverage, power efficiency, and link robustness," with testing speeds reported up to 7.5 Gbps. That won't be the speed you get on your iPhone 16 Pro, but the new version should be significantly faster than the current ones. 

There were previous reports of Apple's attempts to build its own iPhone 5G modem, but the company has admitted that those are still years away, and has signed a deal with Qualcomm for the foreseeable future. 

iPhone 16 Pro: Storage

Apple currently offers the iPhone 16 Pro in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options. According to one report, Apple may increase the iPhone 16 Pro's maximum storage to 2TB, with a commensurate price increase, of course. 

iPhone 16 Pro: AI and Siri

Siri iOS 17 on iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

With the explosion of AI and LLM in 2023, Apple is reportedly investing heavily into its own AI for 2024. Apple is expected to bring AI to its next generations of iPhone, powered by something called "deep learning." Apple is expected to focus heavily on on-device AI rather than server and cloud-based models. 

It's possible Apple could incorporate this into its existing virtual assistant, Siri. But expect iOS 18 and iPhone 16 Pro to feature a heavy focus on AI. 

iPhone 16 Pro: Pricing

The complete iPhone 15 lineup at Apple's Regent Street store in London, U.K.

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple did not increase the price of the iPhone 15 Pro in 2023. However, it did remove the 128GB option for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, making the entry-point price more expensive. There's no indication Apple will change the current pricing model, which would see the iPhone 16 Pro start at $999. Here's the current pricing:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 iPhone 15 ProiPhone 15 Pro Max
128GB$999n/a
256GB$1,099$1,199
512GB$1,299$1,399
1TB$1,499$1,599

iPhone 16 Pro: Colors

While we haven't heard much about the iPhone 16 Pro's colors, a report in February claimed that Apple would introduce two new shades of titanium to the iPhone 16 Pro, Desert Yellow and Cement Gray. 

New reports in March indicate that Apple will offer four colors including a return of Rose Gold. The other three rumored colors from that report are black, white, and gray. While the colors still seem to be a bit up in the air, we can definitely expect Apple to stick to its new titanium finish. 

iPhone 16 Pro: Battery

Apple adopted USB-C with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro in 2023. The more expensive iPhones features USB-C 3 for speedy data transfers, a feature we’d expect to persist this year. A mid-2023 leak tipped either the iPhone 15 or the iPhone 16 for uprated 40W charging speeds and 20W MagSafe power. Apple could likely reserve such an increase for the Pro models, and this would be a welcome increase.

While the iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to receive a battery life bump, the iPhone 16 Pro is not rumored to follow suit. Being the first to get it, the iPhone 16 Pro Max will be a bit of a test for Apple; to see if its new battery technology is worth investing in. This testing could result in the iPhone 17 Pro getting a battery life upgrade instead.

iPhone 16 Pro: USB-C and charging

Reports from February 2024 indicate that Apple is planning to increase the size of the battery in its iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max. Specifically, the iPhone 16 will increase from 3349mAh to 3561mAh. The Pro models are expected to increase to from 3290mAh and 4422mAh to 3355mAh and 4676mAh respectively. The very small increases listed here would be commensurate with the size increase of both models. However, because they’ll be powering a larger display, it seems unlikely that Apple will squeeze any extra life out of them. In mid-2023, one leaker reported that Apple would use stacked battery technology in its iPhone 15 lineup, before revising that prediction to state it was meant for the iPhone 16 lineup instead. Stacked battery technology would allow Apple to pack in a much denser and more powerful battery into the same space as current models, possibly increasing battery life. However, the technology, which is also used in electric vehicles, could also run hotter thanks to less heat dissipation. 

iPhone 16 Pro: AI

2024 is expected to be the year that Apple AI makes its first appearance in the public sphere. While much of that will be software-based, announced at WWDC 2024 in iOS 18, Apple is also reportedly planning some hardware-specific AI upgrades for the iPhone. It is reportedly in talks with Google over its Gemini AI, as well as Baidu in China and its generative AI model Ernie Bot. Apple’s A18 chip is also tipped to be vastly improved to power AI features on-device. As such, it’s possible could license generative AI tools from other developers, using the power of the iPhone hardware to enable it. 

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.