The iPhone 16 Pro Max isn’t likely to arrive until fall 2024, which means we have a pretty lengthy wait before we’re likely to get our hands on one. Despite that, we’re already starting to hear rumors about what the next iPhone flagship might have to offer.
There is still a lot we don’t know about the iPhone 16 Pro Max — if it’s even called that. In fact, Apple could wind up calling this device the iPhone 16 Ultra. But we could see everything from an even bigger display and a new Capture button to an even better main camera sensor.
Here’s everything we’ve heard about the iPhone 16 Pro Max so far.
iPhone 16 Pro Max latest news (Updated November 15)
- All iPhone 16 models are tipped to get a new OLED panel from Samsung that's more power-efficient than before.
- Telephoto lenses on the iPhone 16 Pro models could use a new type of telephoto lens that's thinner and offers improved magnification.
- An iPhone 16 Pro prototype ditches the Dynamic Island cutout for a circular one, but it appears unlikely that this will be the final design for the 2024 models.
iPhone 16 Pro Max price and release date speculation
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 endurred 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.
If Apple kept to a similar pattern, the Apple September event for 2024 could be Sept. 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
According to early rumors, the iPhone 16 Pro Max could get a size increase next year — 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 S23 Ultra.
According to early CAD renders, this would make the phone 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 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.
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.
An iPhone 16 Pro prototype shows what this design might look like, but even the tipster sharing the leaked image thinks it won't happen until the iPhone 17 at the earliest.
It’s rumored that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max may get an extra capacitive button, in addition to the newly-launched Action button. Allegedly called the Capture button this would likely help you capture photos and videos quickly.
iPhone 16 Pro Max possible specs
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.
While we don’t know what 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.
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 cameras
There's only a couple of iPhone 16 Pro Max 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, which should improve overall performance.
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.
iPhone 16 Pro Max software
Like the rest of the iPhone 16 lineup, we think the iPhone 16 Pro Max would run iOS 18, which is already under development at Apple. Details are sparse, but the early word is that artificial intelligence is a big part of the updated software, with Apple potentially including its own AI-powered chatbot in the final version.
Because the AI capabilities targeted for the iOS 18 release may require a lot of processing power, the iPhone 16 models may have unique features for on-device AI while older iPhones will need to turn to the cloud.
iPhone 16 Pro Max or iPhone 16 Ultra?
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. Given the sheer number of rumors claiming the latter ahead of the iPhone 15 launch, we’d expect it to be that.
iPhone 16 Pro Max outlook
We are still very early in the iPhone 16 Pro Max development cycle to know much about what to really expect. But the few rumors we’ve heard suggest the iPhone 16 Pro Max could be an absolute beast.
The iPhone 16 Pro Max is tipped for a bigger display, an even more powerful camera system, a long-awaited RAM boost and yet another dedicated button. Stay tuned for more iPhone 16 Pro Max rumors and leaks.