iPhone 16: what’s special about it and why it’s worth the wait

iPhone 16: what’s special about it and why it’s worth the wait

Apple iPhone 15

Apple users have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new phone — the iPhone 16, with bated breath, despite the iPhone 15 having just been released in late 2023.

Rumors have already been swirling about a significant AI upgrade for the upcoming phone. Expected to debut in September 2024, the iPhone 16 is said to feature the A18 chip along with the next-generation M4 chip for Mac. This dual-chip configuration is anticipated to “significantly increase the number of built-in AI computing cores.”

Here’s why the new iPhone 16 may be worth waiting for:

AI capabilities

Apple‘s iOS 18 is believed to be the biggest software update in iPhone history, with its Rich Communications Services (RCS) support receiving a significant update. It’s widely expected to come with several fresh AI features, including auto-generated Apple Music playlists, typing indicators, read recipes, audio messages, and higher-resolution images and videos.

This will reportedly include new Siri tools powered by large language models, which may remain exclusive to the iPhone 16. The microphone will see several improvements, such as better water resistance and a signal-to-noise ratio. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that this will “improve the Siri experience significantly.”

“It could indicate that Apple expects to integrate more AI/AIGC capabilities into Siri as a key selling point of the iPhone 16,” he reiterated. However, Kuo also clarified that Apple will not fully adopt AI in the iPhone until the 2025 release of the iPhone 17 range. This decision is attributed to a 15% decrease in shipments of essential semiconductor components, suggesting that the current iteration of the phone may not be enough to reverse the company’s fortunes.

New battery

An early leak of what appears to be an iPhone 16 Pro battery prototype also shows that Apple may be working to improve battery life in its 2024 iPhone lineup. Hearsay stipulates that the new model will incorporate stacked battery technology, offering increased capacity and extended lifespan. While stacked batteries are prevalent in electric vehicles and medical devices, it’s only starting to emerge as a trend for phones.

Size of phone

The new phone will sport a slightly updated look, with the size of the iPhone 16 Pro increasing to 6.3 inches, while the iPhone 16 Pro Max will expand to 6.9 inches. This marks the first size upgrade in several years. However, the standard iPhone 16 will stay the same as its predecessor, along with the design.

Design of the iPhone 16

Conversely, the camera is changing its position from a square to a vertical alignment. Another Apple analyst, Majin Bu, recently leaked images featuring the same updated design. What we can see is that Apple’s latest camera design draws upon similar aesthetics of older iPhone models, like the iPhone X, which featured a pill-shaped camera and a slim bump design.

The pill-shaped bump holds the separate Wide and Ultrawide lenses. Next to the lenses will be the microphone, with the camera flash positioned on the back of the device, outside the bump. The team at MacRumors also believes that we will be saying goodbye to the mute switch with an Action Button.

Better display

It has been hinted that the iPhone 16 will feature a significant display improvement, using OLED microlens array (MLA) technology to enhance brightness and power efficiency. This technology consists of a layer of microscopic lenses, also referred to as lenslets, placed on top of OLED pixels. It allows the phone to use less energy but maintain and increase its brightness.

New buttons

As mentioned, the Action button, which will replace the traditional mute switch, will enable users to perform a variety of tasks. These include activating the flashlight, turning on the camera, launching a shortcut, toggling a focus mode, using translate, switching Silent Mode on or off, and others.

The new Capture button apparently codenamed “Project Nova,” is reportedly able to respond to pressure and touch. In December, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the button is dedicated to recording video. The Capture Button is set to be a capacitive button featuring haptic feedback instead of a mechanical one. It is expected to incorporate a force sensor capable of detecting pressure levels. It appears that it will replace the mmWave antenna in the U.S. and will be moved to the left side of the device, positioned below the volume and Action buttons.

A18 chip

While the iPhone 15 is already using an A17 chip, it is thought that the next version will be different to cut costs. A “chip expert” on the Chinese social media site Weibo was quoted by MacRumors as saying that the company plans to switch to the lower-cost N3E process for next year’s standard A17 chip, designed for the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus. This will be the first time Apple has designed a chip specifically for its standard iPhone models. Technology analyst Jeff Pu thinks all four iPhone 16 models will be equipped with A18-branded chips.

According to DigiTimes, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC,) which makes the 3nm A17 Pro chips for Apple, could begin installing equipment to produce 2nm chips later this year. The question is whether these chips will be available in sufficient quantities to be installed on the iPhone 17 or if we’ll have to wait for the iPhone 18 launch in late 2026.

Another aspect worth mentioning is the age-old issue of phones overheating, hence the iPhone 16 will endeavor to address this problem.

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