iPhone 16 Pro — all the rumors so far

iPhone 16 Pro render blue bg
(Image credit: @MajinBuOfficial)
Latest News

Updated May 20

A rose color option could be coming to the iPhone 16 Pro
• The iPhone 16 Pro Max may get battery upgrades that the Pro model does not
The Pro Max model's appeared next to its iPhone 15 equivalent to give us an idea of the incoming size changes.
•The iPhone 16 Pro's display could be 20% brighter than its predecessor for everyday browsing.
• iPhone 16 Pro may not offer 100% on-device AI processing, with M2 Ultra-powered cloud servers reportedly handling the rest.

Apple will likely launch an iPhone 16 Pro this fall, and when this model does arrive, it should bring a number of upgrades to the already feature-stuffed top iPhone.

We still have half a year to go until the expected September launch window of the iPhone 16 series, but lots of rumors have already appeared, hinting at some nice upgrades inside and out. And you can read all about them below.

Take a look at our iPhone 15 Pro review if you want to know about the current best Pro iPhone you can buy, or perhaps our iPhone 16 Ultra hub for info on what could be a brand-new model for this year. But stick right here for rumors about the iPhone 16 Pro in particular.

You can check out our full comparison of iPhone 16 Pro Max vs Galaxy S24 Ultra for how the new iPhone could compare to Samsung’s latest smartphone powerhouse, including how the iPhone's newest chip could compare to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

iPhone 16 Pro cheat sheet: Biggest rumors

  • Release date prediction: September 2024
  • Price prediction: from $999
  • Design: Larger 6.3-inch display, capture button
  • Cameras: Bigger main sensor, 48MP ultrawide
  • AI features: Generative AI in several Apple apps, including Photos and Notes
  • Specs: A18 Pro chip, up to 2TB storage, Wi-Fi 7
  • Colors: Rose, Gray, Silver and Space Black
  • Battery: Larger battery
  • Software: iOS 18

iPhone 16 Pro: rumored price and potential release date

tim cook at apple event

(Image credit: Future)

With iPhone 15 models still a relatively redent release, we're not going to see any new smartphones from Apple until 2024. And barring the spring release of the iPhone SE 4, you'd figure that Apple's next smartphone launch will take place in the same time of year that its last one did — we're expecting a fall 2024 rollout for the iPhone 16 family, most likely in September.

For a more specific guess, here's our forecast on potential iPhone 16 release dates.

It's much too early to talk pricing, though worrying about iPhone 16 costs is understandable, given the $100 price hike imposed on this year's iPhone 15 Pro Max. While it's always possible other models like the iPhone 16 Pro could see their prices go up, especially with component prices on the rise, it's pretty clear Apple likes having a Pro phone at the $999 mark. Something very significant would likely need to happen to knock the iPhone 16 Pro out of that price range.

iPhone 16 Pro: design rumors

Four alleged iPhone 16 dummies, featuring their sizes written above them.

(Image credit: Sonny Dickson / X)

For the iPhone 15 Pro series, Apple switched to titanium for a lighter and more durable phone design. Expect that to continue with the iPhone 16 Pro, which is all but certain to also retain the USB-C port that Apple added to the current iPhone lineup.

The iPhone 15 Pro models did replace the mute switch with a new Action button, which is rumored to be heading to all iPhone 16 models, not just the Pros. Another rumor has a Capture button appearing on all new models, which would capture content using the phone's camera, and potentially focus the camera with a lighter press too.

Some iPhone 16 dummy units that have appeared indicate that the MagSafe wireless charging ring will be thinner on all four new models including the iPhone 16 Pro. That could mean less bulk and improved charging overall.

You can see how this all may look on the alleged dummy of the iPhone 16 Pro below, and how it compares to the standard model. There's even a closer look of how the iPhone 16 Pro compares in size and design to all the other versions in this set of leaked images of dummy units, or another pair here.

Alleged dummy of iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro, from the back

(Image credit: Weibo)

A tipster on X has given us our first clue of some potential color options coming with the iPhone 16 Pro: Desert Yellow, aka Desert Titanium, and Cement Grey, aka Titanium Grey. More recently we've heard that the iPhone 16 Pro could be offered in a choice of four colors: gray or white, silver and Space Black, and a brand new Rose option. These colors will be applied with the same infused glass design seen on the iPhone 15 base models, the same source later added.

iPhone 16 Pro: display rumors

As for the display, you might think Apple would stick with the 6.1-inch size for the Pro model that it's used for several years running. However, one rumor has suggested Apple might shift to larger screens — around 6.3 inches for the iPhone 16 Pro and 6.9 inches for the iPhone 16 Pro Max/Ultra. Prototype-based renders of the iPhone 16 Pro back this up. Due to the increase in size, it's likely it'll also pack a bigger battery as well.

Leaked dummy units show off the different sizes of the iPhone 16 models, including a 6.3-inch iPhone 16 Pro.

Some analysts had expected Apple to use brighter Samsung panels for the iPhone 15 Pro, but that display change never happened. But one leaker claims Apple plans to increase the iPhone 16 Pro's brightness level by up to 20 percent more than its predecessor. It remains unclear whether the bigger iPhone 16 Pro Max will see the same jump.

A display-building process called Border Reduction Structure could help give the iPhone 16 Pro thinner bezels. But currently it's reported that Apple's display suppliers are struggling to make enough of a high-enough quality.

iPhone 16 Pro: camera rumors

Unofficial renders of the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max from the front and back

(Image credit: MacRumors)

Cameras remain a big deal for mobile devices, which is why it may be surprising that few details about the iPhone 16 Pro's potential camera setup have emerged. However, the rumors that we have heard suggest some significant changes.

The biggest rumor regarding the iPhone 16 Pro's cameras contends that the tetraprism telephoto lens that debuted on the iPhone 15 Pro Max will find its way to the other Pro models in the iPhone 16 lineup. (Multiple sources from Apple's supply chain are now claiming this, as well as research firm TrendForce and Samsung Securities). That would likely boost the optical zoom on the iPhone 16 Pro to 5x just like it now is on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. There could be a new telephoto lens in store too, one that will increase the performance of the zoom camera while also reducing its weight and size.

We've also heard that the iPhone 16 Pro could see its ultrawide lens get an upgrade from the current 12MP sensor. Specifically, a rumor contends that all Pro models will get a 48MP ultrawide lens, matching a move Google just made with the Pixel 8 Pro. While spatial video capture has been reserved for the most recent Pro models, it looks as though Apple could be bringing the feature to other iPhone 16 models as well after molds and mockups were leaked.

Anyone looking for an iPhone selfie camera upgrade may need to look beyond the iPhone 16 series. Apparently the iPhone 17 will be the model series to upgrade Apple's current 12MP sensors to 24MP. Likewise, spatial video may no longer be exclusive to the pro models, as a rumored vertical camera layout to the standard iPhone 16 series could bring it to them as well.

One or more of these cameras may feature a new lens coating that Apple's tipped to be working on. This will hopefully improve the appearance of lens flares in photos, something that iPhones can't deal with as well as some rival phones.

iPhone 16 Pro: performance and specs rumors

iPhone 16 mold compared to iPhone 15 mold

(Image credit: ShopSystem)

With the Pro models getting the best of Apple's mobile silicon for two upgrades running now, we'd look for that pattern to continue with the iPhone 16 Pro. Specifically, analyst Jeff Pu expects all the iPhone 16 Pro models to feature the upcoming A18 Pro system-on-chip, which we've heard that could offer some very impressive performance benchmark scores

Interestingly, Pu also predicts that the standard iPhone 16 will also run on a 3nm A18 chip, but it will be a less powerful version of that chipset. But at least one version of the chipset may come with more die space to allow more transistors and specialized hardware that could boost on-device AI performance. However Apple may still need to rely on cloud servers for some AI processing workload.

The performance of the A18 Pro may be a little underwhelming though. Alleged Geekbench CPU tests show improved results compared to the A17 Pro chip, but lower scores than what's been tipped for next-gen Snapdragon or Dimensity chips.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max became the first Apple phone to ship with 256GB of storage space. It's possible the iPhone 16 Pro might follow suit, and word is that AI demands may see that minimum storage come to all iPhone 16 devices this year. Either way, a rumored new memory type could allow the iPhone 16 Pro to offer up to 2TB of on-board storage, double what the current highest capacity iPhone offers. But this could come at the cost of memory speed.

On the connectivity front, the iPhone 16 Pro is expected to add support for Wi-Fi 7, which uses three bands to move around data for faster connections. It's pretty clear that the iPhone 16 Pro won't feature a modem that Apple builds in-house; Qualcomm's already announced it will supply modems to Apple through 2026.

iPhone 16 Pro: Battery

The main iPhone 16 Pro battery rumor is a fairly straightforward one: the battery size could increase by 2%.

That likely wouldn't enough by itself to cause a massive shift in the phone's battery life compared to the iPhone 15 Pro. But hopefully with other updates we'll get a little more daily use out of this model than we did from its predecessor. Perhaps even up to 30 hours total battery life, going by one claim.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like this model's going to get the new shell and density upgrade that the iPhone 16 Pro Max is tipped to get. This would mean an even larger capacity and even longer battery life, but that could be something the iPhone 17 Pro gets instead.

iPhone 16 Pro: software

Apple should introduce iOS 18 later this year, and that will be the software we expect the iPhone 16 Pro to run. And thanks to a new Apple Store tool, the new iPhones may come pre-updated to the latest version of iOS 18 even before you unbox one.

We expect iOS 18 to take center stage at WWDC 2024, with a preview of the new features during the June 10 opening keynote. We expect iOS 18 to focus on AI-powered features, including generative AI, with on-device AI a strong possibility for the iPhone 16 models. Older iPhones may need to turn to the cloud to power some AI capabilities as may some of the more demanding iPhone 16 features. Here's our look at the AI rumors surrounding the iPhone 16 models.

For those AI features, Apple may be offering the surprising upgrade of a new microphone for the iPhone 16. This is apparently because Apple expects users to interact with these features via Siri, and the new mic will make voice commands clearer to the digital assistant.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has stated in his Power On newsletter that iOS 18 could be the biggest software update in iPhone history. He wrote, "I’m told that the new operating system is seen within the company as one of the biggest iOS updates — if not the biggest — in the company’s history.” He also mentioned that he plans to share more specific details about iOS 18 and the planned changes in the future, so hopefully we'll learn more about what makes the update so big soon."

Another report from Mark Gurman stated that the upcoming iOS 18 will have more customization options for iPhone home screens as well as potential new AI features. While we do not know the full details, it will likely include better widget placement options and new options for layout at least.

iPhone 16 Pro: outlook

We've got a ways to go before the iPhone 16 Pro becomes a reality, which means a lot more time for new rumors to emerge about Apple's potential plans. Check back frequently to see updates as we learn more about what could be coming to Apple's higher-end smartphones and whether the gap between the Pro model and the standard iPhone will continue to grow.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.

  • johnsawyercjs
    The article says "The iPhone 15 Pro Max became the first Apple phone to ship with 256GB of storage space." This should be clarified to say "256GB of storage space MINIMUM".
    Reply