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Home / Features / Apple iPhone 16: what upgraded features will appear in 2024?

Apple iPhone 16: what upgraded features will appear in 2024?

Some features didn't make the cut for iPhone 15. They'll surely come to 2024's iPhone 16 instead

Apple iPhone 16 rumors

Apple’s upcoming phones have long since been a matter of intense interest. 2024’s iPhone 16 will be no different.

The iPhone 15 is now here. But there have been several features that, earlier in the year, we were expecting to appear on it. And now we know they didn’t.

Instead, those features are set for next year’s iPhone 16 which – if iPhone launch event form continues – will debut on 10 September 2024.

Obviously, it is ridiculously early to be talking about a 2024 iPhone. But we can look at what we know about the technologies inside of it and what we predict might be in store for the next generation.

Sweet 16 means new names

It seems churlish to suggest that the 2024 iPhone will be called anything but iPhone 16. We’re still a few years off the 20th anniversary of the iPhone in 2027. Is that when we might get a break in the naming strategy? You may recall that Apple did the iPhone X after a decade of iPhone and missed out iPhone 9. So could we get an iPhone XX at that point?

The iPhone 15 Pro Max was rumored to be called the Ultra. But Apple didn’t call it that and so may well introduce the name next year. This is because the handset could be larger (see the display section below).

Apple does like to introduce higher-spec models to take advantage of bigger sales prices. It’s something it has done with the Pro iPhones as well as Macs, the Apple Watch and the iPad. In early 2023, the strategy was spelled out in Apple’s Q1 2023 earnings call. “I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category,” said Tim Cook at the time.

An Apple 5G modem is coming – but probably yet

Originally we thought that the 2024 iPhone would be where Apple’s own long-awaited modem part would appear. Now we’re not so sure.

Qualcomm has now announced that it will be in Apple “smartphone launches in 2024, 2025 and 2026”. Note that we may see a gradual introduction of Apple’s own chip during that time with Qualcomm gradually appearing in fewer and fewer of Apple’s handsets.

So how did this situation come about? Rewind to 2017 when Apple had fallen out with Qualcomm in a big patent dispute.

Instead, Apple had turned to Intel who had been making decent 4G iPhone modems. Trouble was that Intel wasn’t very good at making efficient 5G modems. Basically, it couldn’t match Qualcomm’s tech.

So in 2019 Apple made a pragmatic move. It made peace with Qualcomm but also bought up most of Intel’s modem division (including some 2,200 employees) so it could take on the development and do it better. It seems that half a decade on we’re still a little way off seeing the result of this work.

Note that this cellular chip will be separate to the other A Series chip for now. The target will no doubt be to have one integrated chip that covers all wireless tech in the first instance as well as Wi-Fi 7 (also set to debut with iPhone 16) and Bluetooth. That is probably slightly further off but will surely be where Apple wants to go.

Display differences

Well-known display analyst Ross Young has said that the display sizes will change for iPhone 16 having been set in relative stone (aside from the Mini dalliance) for some years. Other leakers have since joined in with this prediction including long-time Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo.

That means next year’s iPhone 16 Pro Max (or 16 Ultra as it may be known) will have a 6.9in display instead of a 6.7in one. That would give it a 19.6.9 display instead of the current 19.5.9 – but quite similar.

There is some suggestion that the 6.1in screen size of the standard models could increase to 6.3in, though this seems a little less certain. More specifically Ross Young cites iPhone 16 Pro at 6.27in and iPhone 16 Ultra at 6.86in.

Dynamic Island floats along

There is some noise about under-display front cameras coming to iPhone 16. This is technically possible – we’ve seen them before and you couldn’t rule it out. But we think it is HIGHLY unlikely that Apple could currently make under-display Face ID work despite some claims that it will come in 2024.

Again, that’s surely a goal but is a little way off and the work Apple has put into Dynamic Island would point to it being more than a two-year boat ride. There is some suggestion that an under-display Face ID could appear in 2025 with iPhone 17 Pro instead.

One interesting other tidbit from Ross Young is that he expects that the standard iPhone models won’t have 120Hz ProMotion tech until 2025. We’re not sure about this one – the lack of 120Hz is already putting the standard iPhone models significantly behind competitors – the standard iPhone 15 is stuck on 60Hz. Will Apple really allow two more years of slipping behind? We shall see.

Battery and charging

This year’s iPhone 15 series has moved to USB-C and have bigger batteries (the iPhone 15’s is 14% bigger for example) but what we’ve heard so far about wired charging speeds are not that impressive.

Apple says you can charge an iPhone 15 from zero to 50% in 30 minutes using the separately-sold 20W USB-C power adapter. And it should be possible to charge one quicker (up to 30W) using a MacBook power brick for example – we’ll have to test this out.

There are whispers of 40W for iPhone 16. When you consider some Android phones are now capable of 150W, that would seem a little sluggish. Surely Apple will have to remedy this for iPhone 16.

Some rumours also point towards a more reliable battery thanks to stacked battery tech which lasts longer and has a higher capacity,

Even zoomier zoom

This year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max got a persiscope lens, but there’s a better version on the way for next year. Indeed, a ‘Super Telephoto’ periscope lens may be set for iPhone 16. This stems from a rumour on Weibo that also suggests that the focal length will get significantly longer for next year’s models (though it did this year). This is firmly in the unknown for now though.

Solid state buttons a sure bet

We now know the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max have replaced the mute switch with a customizable and solid state Action button. The rumors have suggested that Apple wanted to do more than this with iPhone 15, though it didn’t happen.

Expect iPhone 16 Pro to take the concept a step further and bring solid state to the other external buttons – power and volume. The two-volume buttons might also become a single long button which was originally rumoured for iPhone 15, too.

Solid state is also used with the latter versions of the iPhone and iPad Home button and MacBook trackpad. With all these instances, there is no actual press when you touch the button. Instead, haptics make you think you have pressed it. Fewer moving parts means a lower chance the button will go wrong, it’s better for waterproofing.

We suspect there are also space considerations, too – though additional taptic hardware will surely be needed. Rumours are that two additional taptic engines would be required but again this would take up valuable space.

Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home