iPhone 16 Pro could bring a huge design change in 2024 — but is it worth the wait?

iPhone 14 Pro Max
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple’s iPhone 15 is expected to launch this year, but it's apparently the iPhone 16 that will bring a big design change in 2024. That is according to a report by The Elec (opens in new tab) that says Apple could bring a new under-display Face ID to the Pro model of the iPhone 16 series, nearly eliminating the notch or Dynamic Island and only having one single cutout for the front camera.

Apple made one of the biggest design upgrades to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max with a new fluid notch system — the Dynamic Island. This was a clever innovation in reducing the size of the notch and giving it some use, now that it dynamically shifts to show you info about certain apps. But the company could take this forward and reduce the notch completely. Not with another pill-shaped cutout, but actually pushing the boundaries to go completely notch-less — reportedly in the iPhone 16 Pro next year.

Similar to how Android phones have an in-display fingerprint scanner, iPhone 16 Pro could have its Face ID components hidden under the screen. The camera itself would be visible, but that might be the only noticeable cutout on the display. Another leaker with a decent track record, LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab), has claimed the Dynamic Island will be 50% smaller on the iPhone 16 Pro and still have a “small pill” on the top.

The Elec mentions that the ultimate goal for Apple seems to be to hide the front camera as well, and Apple could be working on an under panel camera for this. The report doesn’t say when we could expect to see that in an iPhone though.

Apple has patents filed for both — under-display Touch ID and an under-display Face ID. Out of the two, it seems more likely for Apple to give us an under-display Face ID, since that has been the company’s preferred biometric technology for the past few years.

This rumor should be taken with a grain of salt though, iPhone 16 is still too far on the horizon to know anything even remotely definitive about the phone — and we still have to see what iPhone 15 will bring to the table. However, it is worth noting that Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab) and display analyst Ross Young (opens in new tab) have also made similar under-display Face ID claims for the iPhone 16 series.

Other iPhone 16 rumors 

Not just an under-display biometric sensor, LeaksApplePro has a whole host of early rumors for the iPhone 16 Pro. This includes an apparent minimum storage of 256GB on the iPhone 16 Pro, which will reportedly go up to 2TB. This massive amount of storage may not come with a price increase, although the leaker says we could see a price hike for the iPhone 15 Pro

In terms of camera, we could still see a 48MP camera lens with 8K video on the iPhone 16 Pro, although the leaker says, “Apple is working hard to improve HDR pictures on this iPhone.” They also claim Apple is apparently working on two prototypes, one with a USB-C port and one with no ports — but it is likely that the phone will go with a USB-C port.

In the meanwhile, closer to what we might see this year — the iPhone 15 series is expected to have a premium iPhone 15 Ultra model this year that will replace the iPhone 14 Pro Max. All iPhone 15 modes could get the Dynamic Island, along with USB-C ports that will replace Lightning ports on the phones. The A17 Bionic may be the only 3-nanometer mobile chipset coming out this year on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra. 

Given the upgrades rumored for the iPhone 15 series, it may not be a good idea to hold out for the iPhone 16 — at least, not on the (possibly far-fetched) promise of it going notch-less.

Sanjana Prakash
News Editor

Sanjana loves all things tech. From the latest phones, to quirky gadgets and the best deals, she's in sync with it all. Based in Atlanta, she is the news editor at Tom's Guide. Previously, she produced India's top technology show for NDTV and has been a tech news reporter on TV. Outside work, you can find her on a tennis court or sipping her favorite latte in instagrammable coffee shops in the city. Her work has appeared on NDTV Gadgets 360 and CNBC.