iPhone 16 camera design could undergo some changes — here's what we know

Purple iPhone 12
(Image credit: Future)

All rumors point towards the iPhone 15 series looking mostly the same as the last few generations of iPhone — barring a few smaller alterations. But that might change by the time the iPhone 16 comes around, with new leaks suggesting the rear camera module could undergo some design changes.

According to Twitter leaker Unknownz21, the iPhone 16 may take some cues from the iPhone 12 — and rearrange the camera lenses into a vertical arrangement. Currently the iPhone 14 has those lenses in a diagonal configuration, and we’re expecting the iPhone 15 to do the same.

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Unknownz21 claims this will “make the device instantly recognizable as the latest model”, but there could be two different designs in the testing phase. The first is said to be based on the iPhone 12, with two camera lenses arranged vertically inside what is implied to be a square camera bump.

It’s claimed the second design will retain the vertical lens arrangement, but no other details have been listed. If I were to guess, I’d say this model might then make some changes to the camera bump, though I doubt it would be scrapped entirely. That might make the iPhone 16 look a little too similar to the Samsung Galaxy S24 — which would be the last thing Apple wants.

What would happen to the iPhone 16 Pro's camera isn't clear. But if Apple keeps the iPhone 12-inspired camera bump it's not likely to see any meaningful changes due to the presence of a third lens.

iphone 13 vs iphone 12

iPhone 13's diagonal camera design (left) vs iPhone 12's vertical arrangement (right) (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In any case Unknownz21 says these phones won’t be arriving until the end of 2024, which means there’s plenty of time for details to change. Much like how the iPhone 15 Pro’s haptic buttons are rumored to have been scrapped within the past couple of months.

This wouldn’t be the only design change on the cards for the iPhone 16 series, according to the latest rumors. While there’s still a lot we don’t know about the phone, it’s been reported that the 2024 iPhones could feature larger 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch displays. However a recent rumor suggests this upgrade may be exclusive to the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max.

It’s also been suggested that we could see an under-display Face ID system launch on the iPhone 16 Pro, and that it could be the first flagship device to come with an Apple-made 5G modem.

But it’s going to be a long time before we get any sort of confirmation on these rumors. In the meantime you can keep up to date on the latest news and rumors in our iPhone 16 hub. Of course if you can’t wait until 2024 for a new iPhone, then our iPhone 15 hub has all the hot gossip on Apple’s next flagship launch.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.