Apple is reportedly working on a new design for the base model iPhone 16 that would feature a pill-shaped camera bump, larger displays for the pro models, and a new capture button that would emulate a high-end camera functionality. The new design is said to be inspired by the iPhone X and would also enable spatial video recording on the standard iPhone 16 models.
According to MacRumors, Apple has been experimenting with different camera bump designs for the iPhone 16 range over the last few months. The latest prototype features a vertical camera arrangement with a pill-shaped raised surface, which houses two separate camera rings for the wide and ultrawide cameras. This update has not changed the position of the flash and the camera lenses.
MacRumors claims that its findings are based on internal designs and are also corroborated by leaked schematics from Majin Bu on social media website X. Bu’s images also show the same pill-shaped camera bump design on the iPhone 16.
The new camera look is reminiscent of the iPhone X, which also had a pill-shaped camera with a slim bump design. Apple used a similar vertical camera layout for the iPhone 12 as well, but it had a wider square bump that also included the flash and microphone.
The vertical camera layout is expected to bring spatial video recording to the base model iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus models. Spatial video is a feature that allows users to capture immersive 3D audio and video using the Vision Pro headset, which is compatible with the iPhone 15 Pro models. The iPhone 15 models have a diagonal camera arrangement and do not support spatial video recording.
In addition to the updated camera bump design, MacRumors reports that the iPhone 16 prototypes also feature slight modifications to the action button and capture button. The action button, which is used to turn on the device and activate Siri, is said to be smaller and similar to the one used on the iPhone 15 Pro. The capture button, which is used to take photos and videos, is said to be pressure-sensitive and sits flush with the frame of the device. This would replace the capacitive capture button that was initially planned for the iPhone 16 range.
AppleInsider reports that the capture button will be able to detect multiple levels of pressure to emulate a two-step shutter button from high-end cameras. This means that users can press lightly to focus and press harder to take a photo or start a video. The capture button will also have haptic feedback to provide a more tactile experience.
Apple is also expected to increase the display size and change the aspect ratio for the pro models. Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, says that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be equipped with larger 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch displays, respectively, with a 16.6:9 aspect ratio. The devices are expected to have more power-efficient OLED displays supplied by Samsung.
The standard iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus models will retain the same display sizes as the iPhone 15, but they could gain an LTPO backplane for ProMotion support. Promotion is a feature that allows the display to dynamically adjust its refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling and animations.
MacRumors notes that the camera bump design and the button changes are sourced from pre-production information and may not reflect the final design of the iPhone 16 models that will be released this fall. Apple typically creates multiple designs and hardware configurations as part of the development process, and the iPhone 16 range is no exception. More concrete information will emerge as the devices move closer to the engineering validation testing phase of development.
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