iPhone 16 Pro Max — everything we know so far

iPhone 15 Pro Max shown in hand
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Latest news

Updated July 8

• iPhone 16 Pro Max may not be the only new iPhone with a tetraprism lens — iPhone 16 Pro could have one too
• iPhone 16 Pro Max should benefit from Siri's AI upgrade, but not until sometime next year
•A report tips the iPhone 16 Pro models including the Max to get an advanced OLED panel from Samsung that boosts brightness by 20%.

The iPhone 16 Pro Max looks to be the biggest iPhone ever — literally. And we should see everything from a powerful new A18 Pro chip and new Capture button on the design to improved cameras when this device arrives as part of Apple's new smartphone lineup this fall.

Apple has also unveiled a large array of AI features called Apple Intelligence. These upgrades promise to offer everything from an advanced new version of Siri, generative AI photo editing, Chat GPT support and more. iPhone 16 Pro Max may be one of only a few phones capable of offering AI in this way too. Plus there hardware upgrades like denser batteries, Wi-Fi 7 and the high-performance A18 Pro chipset.

Here’s everything we’ve heard about the iPhone 16 Pro Max so far.

iPhone 16 Pro Max cheat sheet: Biggest rumors

  • Release date prediction: September 2024
  • Price prediction: from $1199
  • Design: Larger, brighter 6.9-inch display, capture button
  • Cameras: Bigger main sensor, 48MP ultrawide, 5x telephoto
  • AI features: Generative AI in several Apple apps, including Photos and Notes
  • Specs: A18 Pro chip, up to 2TB storage, Wi-Fi 7
  • Colors: Rose, Gray, Silver and Space Black
  • Battery: Larger battery than iPhone 15 Pro Max at 4,676 mAh
  • Software: iOS 18

iPhone 16 Pro Max: Price and release date speculation

iPhone 15 Pro Max shown in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It’s too early to say how much the iPhone 16 Pro Max might cost with any certainty. But considering the iPhone 15 Pro Max endured a $100 price hike, we’re hoping that Apple leaves the price tag alone for at least another year. If that’s the case then we could see the iPhone 16 Pro Max price start at $1,199 / £1,199 / AU$2,199 for a 256GB model. 

Apple typically announces new iPhones in early-mid September, and the only time that hasn’t happened in the past several years was during the pandemic. In a lot of cases the event is on the second or third week of the month — and often on a Tuesday. We've looked at a calendar to make our best guess as to the likely iPhone 16 release date.

If Apple kept to a similar pattern, the Apple September event for 2024 could be September 10. iPhone 16 Pro Max pre-orders would start Friday, September 13 and the iPhone 16 Pro Max release date could be September 20. But this is just speculation. 

iPhone 16 Pro Max: Design and display

iPhone 16 Pro Max comparison with iPhone 15 Pro Max

(Image credit: @ZONEofTECH on X)

According to early rumors, the iPhone 16 Pro Max could get a major size increase growing from 6.7 inches to 6.9 inches. This would make the 16 Pro Max the biggest iPhone ever, and slightly larger than the 6.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. This increase in screen size is also tipped to be accompanied by a larger battery as well.

If you want a sense of what a 6.9-inch iPhone Pro Max might look like, check out these pictures of iPhone 16 dummy units showing off the size of each model. Even better, there's a leak of the iPhone 16 Pro Max pictured next to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which you can see above.

Early CAD renders list the new phone as 0.19 inches taller than the iPhone 15 Pro Max, but only 0.019 inches wider. This should mean that, despite the size increase, the 16 Pro Max is still comfortable and familiar to use, though it isn’t ideal for anyone that struggles with large phones. 

iPhone 16 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S24

(Image credit: PhoneArena)

Side-by-side comparisons of iPhone 16 Pro Max and Galaxy S24 Ultra renders performed by Phone Arena suggest that Samsung's upcoming phone will be slightly wider than an iPhone 16 Pro Max with an expanded screen; Apple's flagship would be fractionally taller. The Galaxy S24 Ultra Max would outweigh the iPhone 16 Pro Max by 233 grams to 225 grams, respectively.

iPhone displays typically are supplied by Samsung, and supply chain rumors suggest the version headed to the iPhone 16 Pro Max and other models will be more power efficient. That's because the OLED materials are expected to switch from blue fluorescent technology to blue phosphorescence technology. Another report out of Asia claims that Samsung is supplying advanced OLED panels to Apple's Pro phones that could boost brightness by 20%.

Another upgrade to the OLED panel could be reduced bezel sizes, making the iPhone 16 Pro Max's enlarged screen look even bigger thanks to super-narrow 1.15mm borders around the active area of the display. For context, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 1.71mm bezel while the Galaxy S24 Ultra's bezel measures 1.5mm.

There are also detailed measurements for the rest of the iPhone 16 Pro Max. It's looking like it'll be longer than the current iPhone 15 Pro Max, but only slightly wider and thicker.

We’ve also heard some speculation that Apple could hide the remaining Face ID sensors under the display of the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max. That would reduce the necessary cutout to a single circle for the selfie camera, rather than the pill-shaped cutout of the Dynamic Island. However, we may have to wait until 2025 and the launch of the iPhone 17 Pro to see this actually happen.

It’s rumored that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max may get at least one new capacitive button, in addition to the Action button added to the Pro lineup last fall. Allegedly called the Capture button, this would likely help you capture photos and videos quickly (with a focusing function in addition). New dummy model images, inside cases no less, help show off this button.

Alleged dummy models of the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro Max, within identical cases

(Image credit: Sonny Dickson / X)

We can see all these rumored chances reflected in these prototype-based renders from MacRumors. Things may change as Apple finalizes this design but it's unlikely to differ too much from the model we actually get to buy. And rumored iPhone 16 cases indicate Action and Capture buttons across the entire lineup.

More dummy units depict iPhone 16 models with a thinner MagSafe ring for wireless charging. The move could reduce bulk on the upcoming phones while also improving the wireless charging process.

Unofficial renders of the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max from the front and back

(Image credit: MacRumors)

As for the colors targeted for the new phone, one source claims the iPhone 16 Pro Max may come inSpace Black, Silver or Gray, and Rose. Rose appears to be a brand-new option, and could likely be this year's signature color, but does seem to bear resemblance to classic gold iPhones.

These colors will appear on new color-infused back glass. New to the Pro Max anyway - you'll currently find this material gracing the back of the iPhone 15 base model and iPhone 15 Plus.

iPhone 16 Pro Max: Possible specs

Apple A17 Pro chip schematic

(Image credit: Apple)

Seeing as how Apple has doubled down on giving the Pro iPhones a better chipset than standard and Plus models, it’s pretty likely Apple will do the same thing with the iPhone 16 series. That means we’ll likely see an A18 chip on the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max models — presumably an A18 Pro. Other iPhone 16 models may be in line for different A18 variants.

One of those variants is set to have a larger die area than the A17 Pro, which should open up more space for more transistors and specialized hardware. Analyst Jeff Pu believes this will help boost on-device AI performance. However Mark Gurman reports that Apple will still need to rely on the cloud for some AI processing, with servers powered by the M2 Ultra chip.

While we don’t know what else this chip might involve, reports already claim that the chip will be a little different to the A17 Pro. Apparently Apple will be using chips built with TSMC’s N3E process, rather than the N3B used to build A17 Pro. This process is reportedly more cost-effective and has higher yields, alongside a boost in performance and an unfortunate loss of efficiency. This will then be followed by 2nm iPhone 17 chips, says one industry report.

Even with the same underlying tech, the A18 Pro could be surprisingly powerful. One set of leaked benchmark numbers claims it could beat Apple's M-series laptop/tablet chips on single-core tests, and be the best Apple device for AI features thanks to a super-powerful NPU.

Apple apparently anticipates a lot of demand for its new phones, as it's reportedly ordered up to 100 million A18 chips for the fall. That could mean constrained supplies of Pro models won't be as big an issue as they have been for recent iPhone launches.

Some people have speculated that Apple could boost the included memory in its phones to account for more AI-powered features, but leaker @Tech_Reve claims that's unlikely to happen. Instead, it looks like the Pro Max would stick with 8GB of RAM. Support for Wi-Fi 7 seems a more likely rumor.

For memory, we're expecting storage to start at 256GB on the iPhone 16 Pro Max. It may go up to 2TB this year thanks to a new memory standard, although this may also mean slower read/write speeds.

The past few years have also seen countless rumors about the implementation of Apple’s home-made 5G modem. Unfortunately, the latest word is that this modem won’t debut until 2025, with Qualcomm seemingly retaining its position as modem supplier for at least one more year.

iPhone 16 Pro Max: Battery

We have heard that Apple is looking at ways to reduce heat dispersion for the iPhone 16's batteries, including the use of a new metal shell and connector on the iPhone 16 Pro Max's battery. The new shell, plus a higher battery density, could give the phone a longer battery life while not compromising on thermal management.

Apple is also looking to diversify where its batteries are assembled, which could address supply shortages at launch, like the kind that led to shipping delays for iPhone 15 Pro Max orders this past fall.

Another leak indicates that the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max could all see an increased battery size, with the Pro Max reaching 4,676 mAh. (The iPhone 15 Pro Max uses a 4,422 mAh battery.) The iPhone 16 Plus could see a decrease in its battery size though, perhaps meaning the Pro Max will again gain the title of longest-lasting iPhone.

Apple could promise over 30 hours of battery life for the new Pro Max, which would be a nice little upgrade from the current 29 hours of video playback Apple promises with the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

iPhone 16 Pro Max: Cameras

iPhone 15 Pro Max cameras

(Image credit: Future)

There's only a couple of iPhone 16 Pro Max camera rumors so far. The iPhone 16 Pro Max’s telephoto lens could have a 300mm focal length — more than double the 120mm lens in the iPhone 15 Pro Max. It’s also been claimed that the 16 Pro Max will have a 1/1.4-inch sensor, which is slightly larger than the 1/1.28 sensor in the iPhone 15 Pro Max. That should allow the camera to capture more light and improve overall performance —  which is especially key given the rumor the iPhone 16 Pro will adopt the iPhone 15 Pro Max's tetraprism-designed telephoto lens for parity with the iPhone 16 Pro Max's camera capabilities. This rumor is further substantiated by a report released by research firm TrendForce.

Another change could come to the type of telephoto lens Apple uses on its iPhone 16 Pro models. A rumor tips Apple to adopt a lens that's thinner with improved magnification.

It's also been reported that both iPhone 16 Pro models could come with a 48MP ultrawide camera, which is a major boost over the current 12MP lens. The selfie camera may not get upgraded from the iPhone 15's 12MP sensor though, as that could be an iPhone 17 upgrade.

The upgrades could also apply to at least one of the camera's lenses. Apple's claimed to have a new lens coating material in development, which may be able to help the iPhone deal with bright light sources that could cause lens flares or other image artifacts.

iPhone 16 Pro Max: Software

Like the rest of the iPhone 16 lineup, the iPhone 16 Pro Max should run iOS 18, which Apple previewed at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Highlights include a more customizable home screen — you can put apps and widgets anywhere you want — plus a redesign to the Control Center. Apps like Maps, Messages and Wallet get new features, while the Photos app gets a fairly substantial redesign. There's even a new Passwords app.

But the more significant addition may be Apple Intelligence, Apple's take on AI-powered features. Besides a much smarter Siri, Apple Intelligence introduces writing tools that suggest changes in wording and tone, photo editing and image generation tools and contextually aware organization. The system requirements for Apple Intelligence are steep, but the iPhone 16 Pro Max with its A18 chipset is all but certain to meet them.

iOS 18 is available as a developer beta now, with a public beta coming this month if you want to try the software out before its fall release, which should happen just before the iPhone Pro Max goes on sale. (You will need an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max to try out Apple Intelligence.)

iPhone 16 Pro Max or iPhone 16 Ultra?

iPhone 15 Pro Max display bezels

(Image credit: Future)

The biggest question we have about the iPhone 16 Pro Max is whether there will even be a Pro Max iPhone in 2024 — or if it will be replaced by the long-awaited iPhone Ultra.

There were a lot of rumors claiming that an iPhone Ultra could launch alongside the iPhone 15. It was also suggested that the Ultra may not be the “fifth iPhone”, but rather a rebranded version of the Pro Max. And, in fairness, iPhone 16 Ultra does roll off the tongue a little better than iPhone 15 Pro Max.

According to Mark Gurman, who is a well known source of Apple insider information, we could see an iPhone Ultra launch in 2024. It’s unclear whether this will be a brand new kind of iPhone 16, or if Apple will finally ditch the Pro Max moniker. The question may be moot now, as the lack of iPhone 16 Ultra chatter heading into the summer suggests Apple will keep the Pro Max model around at least one more year.

Maybe an even higher-specced iPhone's the wrong way to go. As Phones Editor John Velasco argues, Apple would be better off doing a foldable iPhone than an Ultra.

iPhone 16 Pro Max: Outlook

iPhone 16 Pro Max rumors  have already started to pick up following WWDC 2024, and they're not going to slow down anytime soon. But so far, what we've heard so far paint the new phone as an absolute beast.

Not only are we looking at getting a bigger display, a more powerful camera system, a capture button, and a boost to the battery capacity, we should also see AI really come into its own with the iPhone 16 series. Plus, if the iPhone 16 Pro Max does get the rumored RAM boost then it could be something truly special. Stay tuned for more iPhone 16 Pro Max rumors and leaks. 

More from Tom's Guide

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.

  • cjbreisch
    admin said:
    iPhone 16 Pro Max should arrive next year, and here's everything we know so far.

    iPhone 16 Pro Max release date speculation, price prediction and all the leaks : Read more
    You don't mention anything about WiFi 6, WiFi 6E, or WiFi 7 support. Any updates on those?