iPhone 16 could get a new design — and it's all thanks to Vision Pro

Apple iPhone 15 held in the hand.
(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro could get some big design changes, including one that'll be helpful to anyone eyeing up a Vision Pro headset. That's according to new leaks from tipster Majin Bu, along with renders based on this information made by concept artist Jia (@upintheozone).

For the regular iPhone 16, which is what these renders and schematics show, Bu says that it will borrow design elements from the iPhone X and the iPhone 11 series, perhaps most obviously in the vertically-stacked camera block. It's a design element we've seen rumored before, but not in this form.

iPhone 16 render, from front and back

(Image credit: Majin Bu / Jia / X)

This could be a change specifically made to add support for Spatial video to the iPhone 16, as Apple currently only offers Spatial video recording on the iPhone 15 Pro models, which have vertically-aligned main and ultrawide cameras. This would be a well-timed change considering the Vision Pro is now on sale and ready for watching Spatial video on. Although considering the price of Apple's headset, it could be a while before you get to watch your spatial recordings.

iPhone 16 schematic

(Image credit: Majin Bu / Jia / X)

The Vision Pro can record Spatial video itself as well, but it's far from a pocketable device. Apple's sensible in assuming most users will prefer to record their important moments from their easily-pocketable phones, and then transfer them for watching on a headset later. Currently, Spatial video doesn't look any different to regular video when watched on an iPhone display.

iPhone 16 Pro design 

Majin Bu's biggest claim about the Pro models, but also one he caveats heavily, is that there's possibly no size increase for the iPhone 16 Pro Max. Others have claimed previously that this model would be increasing to 6.9 inches from the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Pro Max, giving us a hefty contradiction to solve.

Bu admits the measurements he's received are not that precise, so a small change may still be shown in the information. Considering we're only talking about a 0.2-inch size difference, it's possible once we receive more detailed figures for the iPhone 16 Pro Max's dimensions, the rumored incoming size difference and apparent lack of change still fit together.

The Pro models are down to get a new button arrangement, according to Bu's information, with fresh capacitive buttons on the way. These will sit either flush with the phone's metal side rails, or slightly recessed. This could refer to the rumored Capture button only, which has been previously said to be capacitive instead of a physical button.

Bu adds there will also be interior changes to the iPhone 16 Pro models to account for new additions. Bu doesn't say what changes are causing this, but we'd guess this refers to the iPhone 16 Pro getting a periscope telephoto camera (after the iPhone 15 Pro got stuck with a 3x telephoto again last year), plus whatever changes are needed to fit in the surprisingly powerful-looking A18 Pro chipset.

Interestingly, Bu claims that the iPhone 16 Pro wouldn't need to increase in size to fit in a periscope telephoto camera, although it would have to be a different one to the Pro Max's unit. He alleges that an early iPhone 15 Pro version used a smaller 4x periscope telephoto camera, but this was abandoned during engineering validation testing early last year.

Expect the actual iPhone 16 series debut to come this September. And keep an eye out for the rumored A18 chipsets, dual 48MP main and ultrawide cameras on the Pro models and Action buttons on all models (something the schematic above backs up) as part of the official announcement.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.