iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro battery and charging — 5 biggest rumors for the new iPhones

iPhone 15 Pro Max in blue
(Image credit: Future)

Update June 10: Apple’s WWDC 2024 kicks off today. Follow along for all the big Apple event news at our WWDC 2024 live blog!

Barring a brief blip for the introduction of 5G for the iPhone 12, Apple’s phones have always offered reasonable and sometimes stellar battery life. Indeed, both the iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 15 Plus feature in our list of the handsets with the best phone battery life (albeit in 13th and 14th spots respectively). 

Could the upcoming iPhone 16 series go further and offer greater stamina still? There are a few battery and charging rumors that certainly give us hope. Here are five of them…

Over 30 hours of battery?

Battery capacity is measured in milliamp hours (mAh). While that can give you an idea of likely usage in hours, it doesn’t tell the full story. Screen tech, software optimization and chip efficiency (not to mention what you’re using your phone for) can all contribute to how long a handset runs for.

Nonetheless, according to the Naver leaker Yeaux1122, Apple could hit over 30 hours with the iPhone 16 Pro models. 

At the moment, Apple claims its iPhone 15 Pro handsets offer “up to 29 hours video playback”, so they wouldn’t need to stretch that much further to make good on this claim. The non-Pro ones are listed at “up to 26 hours”, so they would need a bigger leap to match.

Larger cells incoming

So far, leakers seem to be coalescing around the idea that most of the iPhone 16 phones will be getting larger capacities, leading to longer running times. 

Two leakers have had a go at putting mAh figures on some of the models — albeit with different conclusions. Weibo leaker Baby Bay Sauce says that the standard iPhone 16 will get a 3,561mAh cell (up 6%), the Pro 3,555mAh (up 2%) and the Pro Max 4,676mAh (up 5%). For the Pro models, X user @lipilipsi thinks they’ll be even larger, with capacities of 3,577mAh and 4,747mAh respectively.

However much the increase is, the boosted capacity, combined with efficiency savings of the A18 chipset, we should get more stamina across the board. With one possible exception…

…except the iPhone 16 Plus

Interestingly, Baby Bay Sauce does say that one iPhone will seemingly be going backward. According to the leaker, the iPhone 16 Plus will pack a 4,006mAh battery — a drop of 9% on the 4,383mAh cell found in the iPhone 15 Plus.

That would be disappointing if true, given the iPhone 15 Plus has the best battery life we’ve ever seen on an Apple handset. Still, with chip efficiency savings, it’s possible that it won’t be noticeable in everyday use. 

A denser battery for the iPhone 16 Pro Max

If these battery figures are close to correct, iPhone 16 Pro Max will have the largest capacity by some distance — around 600 to 750mAh more than the big-screen iPhone 16 Plus, and over 1,000mAh over the smaller models.

Does that mean it will be chunkier? Not necessarily. According to the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Pro Max’s upcoming battery will have a higher energy density, meaning more milliamp-hours of battery capacity in the same area. In other words, you could have more battery in the same slim frame.

Faster charging speeds

Actual stamina is, of course, only one part of the puzzle. The other is how fast your phone charges, and Apple thus far hasn’t joined in the charging arms race that has seen some Android phones go from zero to 100% full in under 15 minutes with triple-figure watt chargers.

While it doesn’t sound like Apple will be approaching those speeds, one tipster believes the company will be making some progress. On X, Paras Guglani wrote that he believes the iPhone 16 series will offer 40W wired charging and 20W wireless charging. 

That’s a big step up from the current 25W limit, but even if he’s right, Apple is unlikely to go back to bundling chargers with its handsets, so you’ll need to buy a plug to benefit from these new speeds.

iPhone 16 battery outlook

As with all smartphone makers, iPhone battery life has been a trade-off between slim and light aesthetics against a reasonable running time. With the iPhone 16 family, it sounds like handset battery life is edging slightly upward, but it doesn’t look like it will be a huge difference, except possibly in the case of the Pro Max model.

Faster charging would be huge, however, and can make relatively short running times far more manageable. While that’s the more questionable of the rumors above, it would ultimately be the most exciting — and probably necessary with the density of the Pro Max battery that will take longer to fill. 

We’ll see where Apple ends up when the four new iPhone models are unveiled this September.

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.