New iPhone 16 leak appears to confirm big camera changes

Could Apple be planning to bring spatial video recording to every new iPhone this year?

Macrumors iPhone 16 render
(Image credit: Macrumors)

One of the key changes predicted for the iPhone 16 is the return to a vertical camera layout, similar to the design of the iPhone X. And newly leaked images purporting to be iPhone 16 camera components appear to confirm that.

The images come via X/Twitter leaker Majin Bu, who has previously leaked accurate information. In a new post they shared two images, one of the camera module chassis and one showing its location at the top left corner of the iPhone 16's rear. Although the image was initially posted upside down the size, shape and location do appear to chime with the renders we've previously seen. Those renders indicated that Apple was considering several different layouts, but all of them placed the twin camera lenses vertically rather than diagonally.

Is this leaked iPhone 16 camera image real?

According to MacRumors, yes: they've been able to "independently verify the authenticity of the component design"; it's the main camera chassis intended for the base model of the iPhone 16 when it launches later this year.

The move to a vertical layout could be more significant than just a cosmetic redesign or an internal layout shuffle. If the iPhone range is getting a new Sony-style camera button on the right hand edge, which would be on top when you use the phone in landscape mode, those vertical lenses would now be horizontal – which just so happens to be the perfect orientation for making spatial video. That feature is currently limited to the Pro versions of the iPhone 15.

As we said when spatial video recording was announced, "Having it in the Pro, and likely seeing the same feature move to the standard iPhone in a year or two, is a really big deal because that means 3D video recording is in the phone you carry every day. Normally you'd need dedicated 3D recording kit. But now, 3D video is no harder than recording any other kind of video."

Of course, the number of Vision Pro users means the number of people who can actually watch spatial video is still very low – but Apple famously has a policy of skating to where the puck is going to be, not where it is now. And support for the format is also coming to non-Apple devices: Meta has got it up and running on the Meta Quest too. Bringing the feature to every iPhone could help pave the way for a more three-dimensional future, and it would definitely increase the appeal of future Vision Pro models. 

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 (