iPhone 16 three major upgrades just leaked — and it's all about AI

iPhone 16 prototypes
(Image credit: MacRumors)

We’ve already heard plenty of rumors about the iPhone 16 and its focus on AI, especially where iOS 18 is concerned. But some rumors claim that Apple may go even further than that, and possibly further than its rivals by adding extra hardware for AI processing.

The first comes from well-known leaker @Tech_Reve (via TechRadar) who claims the iPhone 16 will have additional RAM and storage capacity to give the AI more room to do its thing. Analyst Jeff Pu also believes (via 9to5Mac) that the A18 Pro chipset will also power the phone’s on-device AI.

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Unfortunately Tech_Reve’s X account seems to have disappeared within the last day or so. But we’ve still been able to see what they said about the iPhone 16, and the new RAM and storage upgrades. According to the original tweets, we’re looking at the possibility of a base iPhone 16 with 8GB of RAM and at least 256GB of storage.

For reference the iPhone 15 only comes with 128GB of base storage and 6GB of RAM — with 8GB reserved for the iPhone 15 Pro. iPhones typically need less RAM than their Android counterparts, due to better optimization of Apple-made hardware and software — so this jump to 8GB would be a very big deal. 

It means Apple could offer a bunch of on-device AI processing without having to send it to a more powerful cloud server — something that a lot of Android AI features have had to do. For instance the only version of Google Gemini that can fit on an Android phone is Gemini Nano, with the rest of the work being done off-device.

This would be at odds with Apple’s privacy philosophies, and so the less cloud processing is needed the better. Though if Tech_Reve is correct, it means the rumors that Apple may use Google Gemini on iPhone 16 feel a little less likely. Then again Apple may have to own up to the fact that a lot of high-performance AI features can’t be done on mobile. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Apple could bring Google Gemini to iPhone

(Image credit: Apple/Google)

As for the A18 Pro chipset, Jeff Pu believes that a bunch of changes are being made to the chipset in order to accommodate Apple’s on-device AI upgrades. That includes a 6-GPU version of the chip with a larger die area than the A17 Pro, which could mean more transistors or specialized components to handle on-device AI. 

However 9to5Mac notes that this could also lead to more design flaws, or possibly issues with energy efficiency and heat dissipation. Here’s hoping Apple learned something from the hubbub about the iPhone 15’s heat issues from last year.

Pu doesn’t elaborate further, other than the fact there’s growing demand for A18 chips compared to A17 Pro — which would make sense. Previous rumors have claimed the new chips will continue to use TSMC’s 3nm process, which should offer energy efficiency and performance boosts compared to 4nm chips like the A16 Bionic. It’s also claimed that all iPhone 16 models will have a variation of the A18 — not just the Pro models. 

We still don’t know a lot about what AI features Apple plans to offer in the iPhone 16 series, or what features will be available on which models. But there’s still plenty of time before the phones are due to launch, and until then you can keep up with all the latest news and rumors in our iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro hubs.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.