iPhone 16 leak just revealed the biggest design changes — here’s what to expect

iPhone 16 render front and back
(Image credit: Future)

There have been a bunch of rumors about how the iPhone 16 series might revamp its design, compared to its predecessors. Those changes include things like vertical camera arrangements, a brand new capture button and maybe even the debut of the action button on the non-Pro models. Or at least, that’s what the latest leaked schematics and dummy units seem to suggest.

Dummy units and schematics are important for companies that make cases and other smartphone accessories, since it means they can manufacture those products in time for the iPhone 16’s release. But they also leak pretty regularly, giving us a glimpse of how the upcoming iPhones are going to change.

YouTube channel EFTM managed to get hold of some metal iPhone 16 series dummy units, while we can’t make out every single physical attribute, these units do seem to show that the iPhone 16 will have the rumored vertical camera module — something we haven't seen since the iPhone 12

Word is that this change is because of the Apple Vision Pro, and will give iPhone 16 users the ability to shoot spatial video for the headset. Previously this was exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.

It’s not the only iPhone 15 Pro feature seemingly making the jump to non-Pro models either. The dummy units suggest that the mute switch will also be replaced by the Action button this time round, while the long-rumored Capture button may be available on all 4 iPhone 16 models too. The Capture button seems to live where the iPhone’s SIM tray can normally be found. 

That doesn’t matter much for U.S. iPhone 16s, where eSIM is standard, but it could suggest that Apple may be pushing the physical SIM card out in more regions. That, or the SIM card slot will be moving elsewhere — though it’s unclear where it might migrate to. However it’s noted that the positioning feels pretty convenient on the dummy unit, especially for selfies.

Dummy units for the iPhone 16 Pro Max also suggest a very similar design, albeit slightly taller— something we’ve also heard in various rumors.

These design changes also seem to be corroborated by leaked iPhone 16 Plus schematics from ShrimpApplePro. These feature changes like the new vertical camera alignment, and an additional button on the lower left side of the phone. We can’t tell whether the action button is really there or not, since we can’t differentiate a button from a mute switch from this angle.

The document also seems to show that the iPhone 16 Plus will have a 6.7-inch display and the dimensions look to be the same as the iPhone 15 Plus schematics that have been included for reference.

Of course leaks of this nature aren’t official confirmation from Apple, and there’s no guarantee that any of this information is accurate. But considering different leaks are aligning as we get closer to the launch of the iPhone 16 series, it’s giving us a rough idea of what to expect. In the meantime you can keep tabs on all the latest news and rumors in our official 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.