The iPhone 16 is going to give you deja vu

Diagonal cameras are so 2022. Apple's next-but-one iPhone may return to a design we last saw in the iPhone 12

iPhone 12 review
(Image credit: Future)

Does the photo at the top of this article show an iPhone 12, or an iPhone 16? According to the latest iPhone rumour, it could be both. According to Twitter leaker Uredditor, the base model iPhone 16 will have a similar vertical camera layout to the iPhone 12. 

According to the leak, Apple is testing two versions of iPhone 16 cameras but both have two camera rings arranged vertically in the camera bump. However, as this is a 2024 iPhone there's no guarantee that this change will happen; Uredditor points to the apparent cancellation of iPhone 15 solid-state buttons as a warning, although it might also be an admission that this particular prediction isn't too solid.

Why is Apple rearranging the cameras on the iPhone 16?

Uredditor isn't one of the better known Apple leakers, but they do have a track record: they leaked the existence of iOS App Clips before their reveal in 2020, and they recently shared what appears to be an image of the iPhone 15's USB-C port. 

Let's assume the rumour is accurate. Why would Apple be doing it? The most likely answer is that Apple has found a more space-efficient way to cram in its various camera components, which were moved from vertical to diagonal positioning to make room for the upgraded camera system. It's unlikely to be connected to the long-rumoured iPhone periscope zoom; the latest rumours about that say it's going to be Pro-only.

Uredditor's warning is worth heeding, though: this phone isn't due until Autumn 2024 and Apple can change, cancel or come up with entirely new designs between now and then.

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 (