iPhone 16 tipped for more buttons and better camera for the Max

Apple's best phones are tipped for some significant 2024 upgrades including new controls and different camera tech

iPhone 15 Pro Max
(Image credit: Apple)

Some people's iPhone 15 models have only just arrived, but the Apple rumour factory waits for nobody – and that means the iPhone 16 rumours are already in production. So far the rumours we're hearing are focusing on the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max, which makes sense as it's the Pro and Pro Max where Apple now makes the most significant improvements in each new model year.

So what can we expect from Apple's best phones in 2024? According to two separate reports, the iPhone 16's pricier variants could be getting some significant changes in terms of their design and their cameras.

What's rumoured for the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max?

The first set of rumours comes via Instant Digital on the Chinese social network Weibo, as reported by MacRumors. ID has been correct with previous rumours so this is intriguing: they say that there is a "great chance" of a new button being added. That's in addition to rather than a replacement for the action button, which is reportedly moving to a solid state one rather than a physical one.

The new button, currently named the "capture button", is another solid state button but this one will apparently be on the other side of the frame, just under the sleep/wake button. Capture suggests that it's going to be a camera button, but the leaker is unclear what else the button might be designed to do. This ties in nicely with a rumour last month of a new capacitive button.

Predicting a better camera for the iPhone 16 Pro Max is a pretty safe bet, and another rumour suggests just that: according to trade title Economic Daily News, Apple is planning to use acrylic moulded lenses in the iPhone 16 Pro Max. Those lenses are slimmer than the current ones, which means that Apple could deliver increased optical zoom without making the camera bump more massive. The report doesn't give any more details but previous rumours have suggested a "super telephoto" lens with possibly double-digit optical zoom.

We're still very early in the iPhone 16 product cycle, so even if these reports are 100% accurate there's no guarantee that Apple won't change its mind between now and the phone entering production. But they're an interesting indication of where Apple may be planning to take next year's iPhones.

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. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).