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How the iPhone 16’s Design May Change

 How the iPhone 16’s Design May Change

The iPhone’s design changes every year, sometimes in big ways, and other times more subtly. The iPhone 16, if rumors are true, will fall into the latter category.

Among the biggest expected changes is the addition of new buttons for both models. Otherwise, the Pro versions could get slightly larger screens, while the standard model may get a redesigned camera module. None of these reports have been confirmed or acknowledged by Apple, so we’ll have to wait until September to know what’s truly in store for the iPhone 16. 

The iPhone’s design has largely remained the same over the last couple of years, aside from the iPhone 15 Pro’s titanium build and the iPhone 15’s color-infused glass. It also removed the SIM card slot from new iPhones in the US starting with the iPhone 14 in 2022, meaning new iPhone buyers must rely on electronic SIMs. But arguably the biggest overhaul in recent memory came in 2020 when Apple changed the iPhone’s shape by giving it flatter edges, starting with the iPhone 12.

Now, here’s what we’re expecting from the iPhone 16. Apple did not immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment. 

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iPhone 16 may get a new camera bump

Apple may switch up the camera arrangement on the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus, according to MacRumors. The cameras will reportedly be stacked vertically on both phones, similar to the iPhone 12. 

It’s unclear why Apple would change the positioning of the cameras on the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus specifically. The iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max, on the other hand, are expected to keep the same camera bump design, according to 91Mobiles, which claims to have obtained drawings of the phones’ design.  

When Apple shifted from a vertical arrangement to a diagonal one starting with the iPhone 13, it said doing so made it possible to fit a larger module in the device, as noted in CNET’s review. It’s possible that it no longer needs to position the cameras in that way to fit the iPhone 16’s sensor, but this is just speculation at this point. 

Action and camera capture buttons for the iPhone 16

Expect your next iPhone to come with more buttons. 

The iPhone 16 is reportedly getting a dedicated button for shooting video, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, although it’s unclear if it would be available on all phones or just the Pro models. At the same time, Apple is expected to expand the Action button to all iPhone 16 models, Bloomberg also reports. Both buttons will be capacitive, according to MacRumors. 

The Action button, which can be used as a shortcut to launch the camera or turn on Do Not Disturb among other tasks, is currently exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. In addition to extending the Action button to the standard iPhone this year, I’m also hoping Apple expands what it can do. For example, as my colleague Patrick Holland writes, the ability to trigger different actions with multiple presses could open up a bunch of possibilities. 

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Larger sizes for the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max

The iPhone Pro’s screen size has remained the same for years, but that could soon change. Both the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max models are expected to include bigger screens, according to reports from Bloomberg, well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, MacRumors and Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young

The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max currently measure 6.1 inches and 6.7 inches respectively. If the reports from Young and MacRumors end up being true, the Pro’s screen could end up measuring 6.2 or 6.3 inches, while the Max could be 6.8 or 6.9 inches. That may not sound like a big difference. But in a device as small as a phone, even a fraction of an inch can go a long way.

Apple hasn’t updated the iPhone’s screen size of its Pro Max iPhone since 2020 when it introduced the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max to replace the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max. The Pro model also got a size bump that year, growing to 6.1 inches compared to the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro.

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iPhone 16 possible colors

Apple may have a couple of new color options in store for the iPhone 16 Pro, if rumors turn out to be true. The iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max may come in space black, gray, rose and white colors, according to a leak that surfaced on the Chinese social network Weibo. The rumor was reposted by a notable leaker who goes by the alias ShrimpApplePro on X. That would differ from the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max’s color options, which include natural titanium, blue titanium, white titanium and black titanium.

All told, the iPhone 16 and 16 Pro sound like they will be an incremental upgrade over the iPhone 15. Check out our full preview of what we’re expecting from the iPhone 16 to learn more about what we may see from the camera and other key areas. 

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