Apple’s newly unveiled iPhone 15, as always, is hilariously expensive. While the iPhone 15 series undeniably has its allure, the iPhone 16 may be more compelling for those who are willing to wait. The rumor mill for the 2024 series of Apple phones has been chugging along hard even before the 15 finally got announced, and if they are to be believed, next year’s lineup could offer something even more amazing for customers.
1. Solid State/Haptic Buttons
The new iPhone 15 Pro models now have a new, customizable action button that replaced the mute switch, but the next-gen iPhone 16 may come with something even better. One of the most prominent rumors circulating among tech pundits is the potential introduction of solid-state buttons for the iPhone 16. For the uninitiated, solid-state buttons technically aren’t buttons. They’re panels with tactile feedback that simulate the sensations of traditional mechanical buttons.
According to MacRumors, which cited well-respected tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 15 was supposed to debut solid-state buttons, but they’re reportedly being delayed to the next-generation iPhone. The iPhone 16 Pro models are likely to be blessed with these cool new “buttons that aren’t buttons.” For users who appreciate the tactile feel and the robustness of solid-state buttons, this could be a sign to hold off on a new iPhone — for now. I’d also argue that solid-state buttons may increase the dust and water resistance of the iPhone 16 Pro because there won’t be any gaps for unwanted particles to slip through, so that’s a plus for customers who are finicky about durability.
2. Potential Under-Display FaceID
Whispers in the grapevine hint at a potential under-display Face ID system for the iPhone 16, a revolutionary feature that has been hinted at too many times in the past. If true, it could emerge with higher-end iPhone 16 models.
Don’t get too excited about this one, though. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and display analyst Ross Young both suggest that this advancement may only become a reality in 2025 or beyond with the iPhone 17. In 2022, Gurman said in his newsletter that a fully embedded Face ID would be “at least three of four years away.” Hence, while it’s an enticing prospect, it’s wise to manage one’s expectations and make purchasing decisions based on concrete announcements rather than speculation.
3. Enhanced Processing Capabilities
The iPhone has consistently set benchmarks in performance and the 15 series is no different. However, the rumored iPhone 16 promises to do even better. A major upgrade to look forward to is the rumored integration of the new A17 chip and augmented RAM. According to Pu, the upcoming A17 and A18 chipsets will use a new method from TSMC called the N3E process. This is an improved way of making chips even better than what’s in the current A17 chips. While there might be some small drawbacks in efficiency, this new method means iPhones could run even faster and smoother. Take this all with a grain of salt though as Pu notes that this rumor originated on Weibo sometime in June.
Additionally, while the 15 Pro models come with 8GB of RAM, the rumor is that this will “trickle down” to the regular base iPhone 16 models. This is good news for customers who want an iPhone that runs more efficiently without needing to shell out the extra dollars for one of the upper-tier, pricier variants.