The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro's rumored Capture Button is still "still in development as of the Proto2 stage" according to leaker Unknownz21, meaning it's looking more and more likely we'll see this interesting design change on next year's iPhones.
This Capture button will apparently be a capacitive key (unlike the physical Action button that got introduced with the iPhone 15 Pro) that'll sit on the iPhone 16's right side under the power button, where you'll find the mmWave 5G antenna on current compatible iPhone models. The antenna will be moved to the other side under the volume keys as a result, according to the original reporting from MacRumors.
This is still in development as of the Proto2 stage. https://t.co/qs4nAFXu9iOctober 23, 2023
But what is the Capture button?
We can assume from the name, as well as its position, that the Capture button will act as a more physical shutter button for the iPhone 16's cameras. We wonder if the button will potentially have a different function when the phone's outside of the Camera app, or if it'll act as a dedicated camera shortcut.
Dedicated camera buttons have appeared before on smartphones, although they're not common, and have never appeared on any previous iPhone. The most prominent recent example comes from Sony's Xperia phones, such as the Xperia 1 V.
Assuming we don't see the iPhone 16 launch until next September, Apple still has several months to decide if it wants to rework the design before locking in its choices prior to the start of mass production. We'll have to continue listening out for rumors to figure out if this change is coming, or if Apple walks it back and moves ahead with a Capture button-less design, which MacRumors says is being worked on in tandem as a back-up.
Other rumored changes to the iPhone 16 series include the Action button being converted to a capacitive button as well, a larger display size for the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max, 5x periscope zoom on both Pro models instead of only the Pro Max, and new A18 chipsets to run everything.