When is iPhone 16 release date? Leaked prices, features, and colours for Apple’s AI powerhouse

Apple iPhone 15s on display (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)
Apple iPhone 15s on display (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)

With Apple just months away from releasing the iPhone 16, a series of leaks from its partners and insiders are shedding light on the new phone.

We’ve heard about the new sizes and camera, now we’ve got the details on its purported battery.

The info comes from China, where leakers have claimed three of the four new iPhone 16 models will have slightly larger batteries than last year. In addition, the pricier Pro models could charge even faster than their predecessors.

That sounds like a win-win to us, but is the devil in the details? Read up on the latest iPhone 16 news below, including its battery sizes and release date.

Release date

Whispers from Apple's supply chain and component manufacturers suggest the tech giant is gearing up for the new iPhone.

Apple launched the iPhone 15  at an event on September 12, with the phones going on sale on September 22 (PA Wire)
Apple launched the iPhone 15 at an event on September 12, with the phones going on sale on September 22 (PA Wire)

Although nothing is official, Apple’s history of iPhone launches indicates that the iPhone 16 could be unveiled in the first or second week of September.

Apple is known for keeping its cards close to its chest, so don’t go expecting a confirmation until the launch event date is revealed. Last time, Apple kept shtoom until just two weeks shy of the big day.

Price

While a September 2024 reveal is all but guaranteed, the official cost remains under wraps.

Currently, the iPhone 15 starts at £799 for the standard model and jumps to a hefty £1,199 for the high-end Pro Max. But, analysts are split on whether the iPhone 16 will carry the same price tag. Some claim it could be cheaper than its predecessor due to a rumoured chipmaking shift by Apple later in 2024, potentially benefiting customers.

However, murmurs of rising production costs threaten to throw a wrench into those plans. A recent Nikkei Asia report suggests the iPhone 15 Pro Max already costs Apple 12 percent more to produce than its predecessor. If the rumblings of pricier camera tech in the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max also turn out to be true, prices could indeed go up as Apple passes on the extra costs to consumers.

Apple's AI can create image and video slideshows from your gallery based on text prompts (Apple)
Apple's AI can create image and video slideshows from your gallery based on text prompts (Apple)

Adding another layer of intrigue is the potential arrival of the first "Ultra" iPhone. While rumours initially pointed to a 2023 launch for an Ultra model, it appears Apple is saving the big reveal for this year. Whether it will sit alongside the Pro Max or replace it entirely remains unclear, but one thing's for sure – Apple's first Ultra is likely to be its most expensive iPhone yet.

iPhone 16 rumoured specs

We’ve rounded up the biggest iPhone 16 leaks from a network of reliable sources. The latest info aligns with Apple's usual upgrade patterns, giving us a good idea of what the new phone may offer.

iPhone 16:

  • 6.1-inch OLED display

  • A18 chip

  • 8GB RAM

  • Vertical dual-camera system with 48MP main sensor

  • 3,561 mAh battery (+6% increase)

  • Action button and new Capture button

iPhone 16 Plus:

  • 6.7-inch OLED display

  • A18 chip

  • 8GB RAM

  • Vertical dual-camera system with 48MP main sensor

  • 4,006 mAh battery (-9% decrease)

  • Action button and new Capture button

iPhone 16 Pro:

  • 6.3-inch ProMotion OLED display

  • A18 Pro chip

  • 8GB RAM

  • Triple-camera system with 48MP main, 48MP ultra-wide, and 12MP telephoto (5x optical zoom)

  • 3,355-3,577 mAh battery (+2-9% increase)

  • Action button, Capture button

iPhone 16 Pro Max:

  • 6.9-inch ProMotion OLED display

  • A18 Pro chip

  • 8GB RAM

  • Triple-camera system with 48MP main, 48MP ultra-wide, and 12MP telephoto (5x optical zoom)

  • 4,676-4,747 mAh battery (+5-7% increase)

  • Action button, Capture button

Features

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has said the company is spending a tremendous amount of time and effort on AI (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has said the company is spending a tremendous amount of time and effort on AI (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)

Between the new camera and larger sizes, Apple is again saving the best upgrades for the premium Pro models. Here’s a closer look at the main improvements to help you decide which iPhone is best for you.

Models

Broadly speaking, Apple will reportedly stick with its four-pronged iPhone lineup for the iPhone 16: A standard model, the iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max or Ultra. That’s according to references spotted inside early development versions of the iOS 18 software update, per Apple news site MacRumors.

Display

Pro users, rejoice! The iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max might boast larger displays, measuring in at a rumoured 6.3 inches (up from 6.1) and 6.9 inches (versus 6.7) respectively. ProMotion technology that supports up to 120Hz refresh rates will also remain exclusive to iPhone Pros until at least 2025.

Design

All iPhone 16 models are tipped to sport a new Action Button, poached from the iPhone 15 Pros (replacing the mute switch), alongside a dedicated camera Capture Button for photography enthusiasts.

Analysts reckon the iPhone 16 will kick off an upgrade supercycle as people with older handsets make the jump to the latest models (Apple)
Analysts reckon the iPhone 16 will kick off an upgrade supercycle as people with older handsets make the jump to the latest models (Apple)

Camera

Staying with the camera, the iPhone 16 Pro models might be getting a significant upgrade, with a rumoured 48MP ultra-wide snapper replacing the current 12MP sensor. Expect more detailed photos, including in low-light conditions, and improved detail and clarity in wide-angle shots.

Both Pros could also inherit the previously Pro Max-exclusive "tetraprism" lens technology, resulting in improved optical zoom capabilities. Ultimately, you could snap pics at up to 5x zoom, making long-range photography even more detailed.

The iPhone 16 Pro Max may also receive a significant upgrade to its main camera. Rumours indicate that Sony could provide a new 48MP sensor for the top-of-the-range model, promising better overall image quality, improved light capture, and a wider dynamic range.

Battery

As you can see in the rumoured specs sheet for each iPhone 16 above, every model barring the iPhone 16 Plus is getting a slight upgrade to its battery capacity, which is measured in milliampere-hours (mAh).

The mAh essentially tells you the amount of electrical charge a battery can hold. In the case of the iPhone 16 Pro, that could be a massive 4,747 mAh, resulting in up to 7 percent more battery life between charges.

The only model reportedly not getting an improvement, no matter how minor, is the iPhone 16 Plus, which could wind up with 10 percent less juice than last year’s version. Despite the downgrade, its overall battery life might not be significantly impacted due to the upside from its new chip and power management.

Another rumour suggests the Pro models will support faster charging speeds of up to 40W from 27W previously, a 48.1 percent increase. Meanwhile, MagSafe wireless charging will rise 33 percent from 15W to 20W.

Theoretically, that could shave around 10 minutes off the current fast-charging speeds of the iPhone 15, which can reach 50 percent battery life in 30 minutes with a 20W or higher power adapter. But, whether it actually results in real-life gains remains to be seen.

Even with these improvements, iPhone charging speeds would still lag behind some competitors. The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, for instance, charges at 45W, reaching 69 percent in 30 minutes, while the wildest phones out of China can hit full charge in 10 minutes.

Chip

Processing power is paramount with the release of iOS 18, and all four iPhone 16 models are expected to run on the next-generation A18 chip, potentially with Pro and non-Pro variants offering different levels of performance as far as AI and regular tasks are concerned.

The expected AI capabilities of the A18 should also filter through to the iPhone 16 camera, with improved image processing and better low-light performance (delivered by AI algorithms) on the cards.

Apple Intelligence

Apple Intelligence is an entirely new AI-powered system running across iPhone, iPad and Mac software (Apple)
Apple Intelligence is an entirely new AI-powered system running across iPhone, iPad and Mac software (Apple)

Apple plans to release a bunch of new generative AI features with iOS 18. The new tools use the company’s custom-designed chips and internal and external machine learning models trained on massive datasets to generate text, images, and photo and video slideshows.

You can ask the bots to change the tone of an email; create custom emojis based on text descriptions or photos in your gallery; generate cartoonish images with just a few words; and turn sketches and notes into pictures.

The tech could also be a boon for Siri. Apple is promising a new and improved version of its digital helper that can better grasp what you’re saying, complete follow-up tasks, and make better use of the reams of data on your phone.

Colours

Rumours suggest a rose colour option for the Pro models, while the standard models might ditch the yellow in favour of a classic white.