iPhone 16 design mockup just leaked — here’s your first look at the new iPhone

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iPhone 12

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

More evidence reveals that the iPhone 16 is indeed going to be getting a new redesign that brings back an iPhone 12 aesthetic. New images posted by tipster Majin Bu shows off what appears to be iPhone 16 molds and mockups that indicate that the diagonal dual-camera arrangement of the last few generation iPhones is being ditched in favor of a vertical layout.

It was just a short few days ago when Majin Bu posted photos on Twitter of the purported camera module for the iPhone 16 — showing two cutouts stacked on top of one another. The last time Apple went with a vertically stacked layout for the standard iPhone series was with the iPhone 12. Since then, it’s been a diagonal arrangement.

Looking more closely at the mockups and molds, there also appears to be a smaller cutout nearby, which would most likely be reserved for the iPhone 16’s LED flash. Apart from that, it’s hard to discern any other notable changes to the design.

iPhone 16 mockup and mold

(Image credit: Majin Bu via X)

One of the leading reasons why Apple could be going after a vertically stacked camera arrangement is to give it the ability to record spatial video and photos introduced with iOS 17.2. So far, only the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are able to record spatial video — which could then be viewed on an Apple Vision Pro. This can only be achieved by having two cameras positioned on the same plane while recording, which would then give off that 3D stereoscopic vision when viewed through the Vision Pro.

It's a neat effect that makes for a convincing experience that puts users back into that moment when they were captured. By expanding spatial video capture to the entire iPhone 16 series and not making it exclusive to just the pro models is a better move for Apple to entice people to buy the Vision Pro. Or at the very least, keep the cost of ownership to a lower starting point for consumers since the standard iPhones are substantially cheaper.

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Either way, this redesign could hint to how Apple is gambling on the uniqueness of spatial video — and how users can feel more immersed viewing them later on. While the iPhone 15 got a major camera upgrade by adopting the main camera of the iPhone 14 Pro, rumors hint that the iPhone 16’s cameras will remain unchanged. If that ends up being true, Apple would need to lean into something else, perhaps AI-assisted features, to give the cameras a much deserved boost over its predecessor.

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.