iPhone 16 Pro Max could use a denser battery with a stainless steel case — here’s why that’s good news

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

The iPhone 16 Pro Max may have a battery advantage over other iPhone 16 models due to its cell offering a higher energy density, according to a new report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

A higher energy density means more milliamp-hours of battery capacity in the same area, meaning a higher capacity and hopefully a longer battery life. But higher density also means a longer charging time at a given wattage. Unless Apple decides to increase the charging speed of the iPhone 16 Pro Max at the same time as enlarging its battery, it could take even longer to fill the phone up. Not great news if you need a quick top-up.

Kuo also explains that a higher density means a higher operating temperature for the battery, which leads to the second change Apple's apparently making to the iPhone 16 Pro Max's battery — a stainless steel case to help deal with the heat. Aluminum would be the optimum solution for temperature, Kuo continues, but steel would be better for durability and repairability.

If things go well for the iPhone 16 Pro Max's new battery, then Kuo claims all iPhone 17 models next year could use the technology. We've seen this happen before with various features before, with the Pro Max/Pro models introducing a new feature, such as the Dynamic Island or 48MP main cameras, before they make their way to the standard and Plus versions of next year's iPhones.

Previously on iPhone 16: The Rumors

This isn't the first we've heard about the iPhone 16 series' batteries from the leak-o-sphere. It's been claimed that all iPhone 16s except the iPhone 16 Plus could be getting larger batteries, possibly lasting over thirty hours of usage in some cases. We had also heard before about the usage of a new metal shell and battery connector for improved cooling for the iPhone 16 Pro models, which fits somewhat with what Kuo's just told us.

If you want to learn more about the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro or iPhone 16 Pro Max, check our linked rumor hubs for all the details that we've heard so far. Otherwise, you're probably going to have to wait until September to see Apple officially announce them.

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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.