Apple’s next iPhones are months away, landing almost certainly in September as usual. Which means that the hardware is in the final stages of development, if it’s not locked in already. A new report suggests that two of the new phones, the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, will have an updated design that’s oddly familiar and offers a surprise bonus.
The latest suggestion comes from regular leaker Majin Bu, and is corroborated by MacRumors. It shows the cameras on the iPhone in a vertical, rather than a diagonal orientation, looking more like the iPhone 12 or even the iPhone X. But it doesn’t look like it’s an act of nostalgia that Apple is indulging in.
First of all, there is likely to be a strong practical reason behind this change. While the angled position found on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus allowed bigger lenses in a similarly sized squarish camera panel, the vertical shape may mean the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will be capable of a feature reserved for Pro models in the current series.
On the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, you can shoot Spatial Video, using two of the lenses at the same time. Crucially, these lenses are aligned, not placed diagonally.
It’s thought this fall’s regular iPhones will be capable of shooting Spatial Video, made possible in part by the vertical arrangement of the lenses.
And there’s another benefit. The pair of cameras, as they appear in Majin Bu’s post, don’t seem to protrude quite as far as the do on the iPhone 15.
If you’ve ever tired of the way the iPhone lies at an awkward angle when on a flat surface, a lower bump will help, especially if you’re typing with the phone on the table, say, when it might rock under your fingers.
Sure, it’s not a major problem—and if you have a case on the iPhone, that can even things out well so you never notice it—but it’s good to know things will be a little different this year.
Add this to the list of striking updates coming this fall, which are already rumored to include different displays on some models, the tetraprism camera on more phone, more advanced camera lenses and that key benefit: improved battery life.
And we’re only in February.