Apple could spring major camera overhaul for iPhone 16

Back to the old ways?

Macrumors iPhone 16 render
(Image credit: Macrumors)

The Apple iPhone 16 could see the return of an older design feature, as the camera bump on the rear is tipped to change.

Reports claim that the rear lenses could be housed in a smaller pill-shaped unit that harks back to former phones.

Apple might be mulling over a major change to the iPhone 16's camera bumps, one that many people would see as both a great choice and a return to older ways. 

In recent years, although the layout and makeup of the camera units included on it have changed between the standard and Pro models of the iPhone, both have had a square camera bump or housing.

For the iPhone 16's standard version, though, Macrumors reports that Apple is strongly considering (and making prototypes) slimming this down into a smaller pill shape. 

This would make things look a lot like the iPhone used to before it got triple camera systems, when the two cameras were on top of each other, and while there would still be a raised area around them, it would be substantially smaller. 

Macrumors reports that this layout has been present throughout Apple's prototyping process, through multiple revisions, so it's seemingly looking more and more likely that this will be the design that goes the distance. 

The change isn't quite as simple as just moving those cameras around a little, either - as you can see in the images Macrumors has created, the flash is not on the raised bump, instead sitting to its right, flush on the phone's back.

This means we're starting to get tiny hints of a true dream scenario - where those cameras themselves are slimline enough that we don't need a bump on the back of the phone to accommodate them, returning to the good old flat days.

That's still not happening anytime soon, though, but the change to a vertical layout will bring other immediate benefits for those really engaged in Apple's ecosystem.

The biggest is that the new arrangement will mean that the iPhone 16 will be able to shoot spatial video, viewable on the Vision Pro headset, which currently on the iPhone 15 Pro models can manage.

This isn't due to camera deficiencies, but rather the diagonal layout of the 15's lenses, so changing their layout will immediately unlock this feature, happily.

How many people actually use it, of course, is less clear, but the Vision Pro has immediately become a more familiar sight in the last week since it went on sale. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.