iPhone 16 leak suggests it could borrow this best-selling iPhone's design element for 2024

iPhone 16 camera pill design
(Image credit: MacRumors)

For the past four generations of non-Pro iPhone, the rear cameras have sat diagonally across from each other in a slightly raised square. But with the iPhone 16, it looks like Apple will be taking us back to a formation not seen since 2020’s iPhone 12.

On X, the leaker Majin Bu posted pictures of the purported camera module of the upcoming handset, and the two lenses appear vertically stacked. “As you can see the vertical positioning is confirmed”, the leaker wrote.

While Bu’s track record of predictions is a mixed bag, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a return to the vertical camera layout. Last year, the leaker Unknownz21 predicted the return of the vertical array, and this was corroborated by MacRumors earlier this month.

While this may seem like a purely aesthetic change, more practical reasons may well be behind it. As our Managing Editor Philip Michaels points out, stacking the wide and ultrawide cameras vertically means that the iPhone 16 may be able to capture spatial video, the immersive 3D video format currently being showcased by the Apple Vision Pro.

Currently, that’s only something that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are capable of, and while processing power is also part of the puzzle, the rumor is that all iPhone 16 models will feature a variation of Apple’s A18 chipset which should level the playing field somewhat. Though whether the kind of person to drop $3,500 on an Apple Vision Pro is the same sort of person to buy the entry-level iPhone is an open question.

But while camera spec changes are reportedly afoot for the Pro models, the entry-level iPhone 16 isn’t expected to get any more advances on the camera system that was upgraded for the iPhone 15. That means a 48MP main sensor, supported by a 12MP ultrawide lens. 

That doesn’t mean that there won’t be other changes for the iPhone 16, of course, and there’s talk of a boost to 8GB RAM, the arrival of Action and Capture buttons, and the possibly game-changing introduction of artificial intelligence with iOS 18. You can read more about the anticipated iPhone 16 vs iPhone 15 changes here

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.