iPhone 16 Pro — all the rumors so far

iPhone 16 Pro Concept Video Science & Knowledge
(Image credit: Science & Knowledge/YouTube)

When the iPhone 16 Pro arrives next fall, it figures to benefit from the ongoing attention Apple is paying to it Pro models. As we saw most recently with the iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro features, the most noteworthy enhancements seems to be reserved for the pricier Pro models as a way to entice people to pay more for their next handset. We don't expect that to change with the iPhone 16 Pro, especially if the iPhone 15 Pro continues to be in high demand.

Early iPhone 16 rumors support that claim. We've only heard a little bit about Apple's future smartphones so far — not surprising since the iPhone 15 launch didn't happen that long ago — but the early iPhone 16 rumors have a decidedly Pro focus to them. That bodes well for the iPhone 16 Pro's prospects.

Though we've still got a long way to go before Apple rolls out even more new phones, here's a look at what we've heard so far about the iPhone 16 Pro and how this future model looks to continue Apple's Pro-friendly focus.

iPhone 16 Pro latest news (Updated November 21)

iPhone 16 Pro rumored price and potential release date

tim cook at apple event

(Image credit: Future)

With iPhone 15 models freshly landed on retail shelves, 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.

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 and display rumors

iPhone 16 Pro Concept Video Science & Knowledge

(Image credit: Science & Knowledge/YouTube)

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. Perhaps this is year that the iPhone models take advantage of USB-C's faster charging speeds, though we've heard nothing in that regard.

A rumored iPhone 15 Pro feature that didn't materialize was the arrival of solid-state buttons that use haptic feedback to indicate a press. Apple reportedly ran into technical problems trying to make that change for the iPhone 15, and at least one analyst thinks it's off the table for the iPhone 16 Pro, too.

The iPhone 15 Pro models did replace the power switch with a new action button, and one rumor has a Capture button coming to at least the iPhone 16 Ultra if not the iPhone 16 Pro as well, with at least one iPhone 16 prototype using the new button. This button would capture content using the phone's camera, though it's unclear exactly how it would work at this stage.

An early iPhone 16 Pro rumor indicated that under-display Face ID sensors would find their way into the 2024 Pro models, removing the need for a Dynamic Island cutout. Like the long-standing rumor that under-display fingerprint sensors would bring Touch ID back to the iPhone, we'll have an easier time believing that claim once we see any actual evidence that it exists.

One iPhone 16 Pro prototype apparently features under-display Face ID, with a single cutout for the selfie camera. But most people believe this design change won't materialize until the iPhone 17.

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.

Some analysts had expected Apple to use brighter Samsung panels for the iPhone 15 Pro, but that display change never happened. You'd think it might still be on the table of the iPhone 16 Pro, especially given that the new Pixel 8 models from Google feature much higher peak brightness limits (2,000 nits for the regular Pixel and 2,400 nits for the Pixel 8 Pro). 

Samsung will reportedly supply displays for the iPhone 16, with a supply chain source suggesting the new OLED materials in those panels will replace blue fluorescent technology with blue phosphorescence technology. That would lead to a more power-efficient screen.

iPhone 16 Pro camera rumors

iPhone 16 Pro Concept Video Science & Knowledge

(Image credit: Science & Knowledge/YouTube)

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. 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. 

iPhone 16 Pro performance and specs rumors

Apple A17 Pro chip schematic

(Image credit: Apple)

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. (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.)

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, or Apple could decide to keep that feature specific to its premium phone, whether that's the Pro Max or the Ultra going forward.

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 software

Apple should be introducing iOS 18 next 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 even before you unbox it.

We won't know more about specific iOS 18 features until we get closer to next summer's Worldwide Developer Conference, where we expect an iOS 18 preview. However, there's a strong possibility that AI-powered features will take center stage in this update, 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.

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.