iPhone 16 tipped for heavy metal battery boost

At least one of this year's iPhone 16 models is expected to come with a better, more densely packed battery

iPhone 16 dummy units
(Image credit: Sonny Dickson / X)
Quick Summary

At least one iPhone 16 model, most likely the Pro, is expected to come with a new battery featuring a stainless steel case and more densely packed circuits. Other iPhones will get the same tech in 2025.

The iPhone 16 is starting to sound like a huge upgrade. Just days after we discovered that Apple intends to give it a serious RAM upgrade in order to run Apple Intelligence, a new report says that significantly better battery efficency is coming too. For the iPhone 16, it seems, Apple is getting more metal.

We mean that literally. According to industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is planning to use a stainless steel casing that will enable Apple to use much more dense batteries: that tougher casing will enable Apple to boost the density of the battery cells to deliver more power without also delivering more explosions. 

However, don't expect a huge increase in battery life: the move to Apple Intelligence is likely to mean more demands on the battery, so the change may just deliver what previous Apple iPhone battery improvements have done and enable Apple to deliver the same longevity from more demanding processing.

The battery report tracks with the late 2023 rumours of an iPhone 16 Pro with a metal battery casing, and it also ties in with reports of how Apple plans to meet new EU legislation.

What's going on with the iPhone 16 battery?

The new, more dense battery for the iPhone 16 isn't just about doing more in the same amount of space. It's also in part designed to help Apple meet new EU rules that are coming into place next year. The rules mandate that smartphones sold in the European Union must have batteries that can be easily replaced by users without requiring complex tools. 

According to reports in The Information, Apple's approach to meeting those rules is to use a technology called electrically induced adhesive debonding. Instead of fixing the battery in with adhesive strips, it uses a bonding method that can be undone by applying a very low electrical voltage. The use of this debonding technique is expected to begin with at least one of this year's iPhone 16 models before extending to all versions of the iPhone 17 in 2025.

As ever, we're expecting to see the next iPhone in September this year alongside the launch of the next iOS version, in this case iOS 18.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).