iPhone 16 camera redesign leaks — Apple may be taking us back to 2017

iPhone X in hand
(Image credit: Future)

It appears that Apple may be considering a new camera design for the upcoming iPhone 16

According to MacRumors, Apple's latest prototype iPhone 16 has a vertical camera arrangement that rests on a pill-shaped block. MacRumors also made a series of mockup images to show the changes visually.

From the images, it appears that Apple is sticking with dual cameras for the standard iPhone 16, presumably a main and ultrawide combination. The new arrangement of those cameras matches the designs we saw in earlier leaks, including the positions of the lenses and the flash in the alleged prototype-based renders we saw at the end of last year.

iPhone 16 from back

(Image credit: Majin Bu / Jia / X)

Both of these reported designs appear to be quite similar to the iPhone X, which also had a pill-like camera bump surrounding two lenses positioned one above the other. However, the flash on the iPhone X rested between the two lenses, while here it is just to the side. That design was dropped from the iPhone 11 series onwards in favor of the square camera bump incorporating the flash that we see today.

With this design change Apple could bring 3D spatial video recording to the base iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus models, which you could then view in the Apple Vision Pro and other headsets like the Meta Quest 3. Currently, the iPhone 15 has a diagonal camera layout, meaning that the phone is unable to capture spatial recording. This feature is currently limited to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max and their vertically-aligned main and ultrawide cameras.

iPhone 16 camera pill design

(Image credit: MacRumors)

This potential design does make the back of the phone look more streamlined than other models, although the location of the flash outside of the raised area makes it look somewhat random to my eyes. It should be noted that these are not official renders of the prototype, and the final model may look quite different. 

We won't know about the iPhone 16's final design until its official announcement, which should occur in September if Apple keeps to its standard timetable. But for now stay tuned to our iPhone 16 hub for all the latest rumors and leaks. 

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.