Apple iPhone 16 Plus Leaks Hint at Compact Battery, More Colors

Rumors about Apple's upcoming lineup suggest the iPhone 16 Plus may be a harder sell.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read
The iPhone 15 family lineup

The iPhone 16 Pro is rumored to have a smaller battery than the iPhone 15 Pro.

James Martin/CNET

Apple has always made battery life a key selling point of its devices. When Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone in 2007, Apple's co-founder said the smartphone had "tremendous power management." At the time, that translated to 16 hours of audio playback and five hours of talk time, video or browsing. "That's dramatically better" than any competitors, he added. 

The upcoming iPhone 16 Plus may not be able to hold up that tradition.

A new series of leaks on social media say Apple's $899 iPhone 16 Plus model will have a smaller battery than the previous version when it's released later this year. The 6.7-inch Plus, which is sold as a more entry-level option to the Pro-model iPhones that start at $999, is expected to have a battery that's 9% smaller than its predecessors. The other iPhone 16 models, by comparison, are expected to have their battery capacity grow by as much as 6%.

The leaks came by way of MacRumors, which translated Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, who doesn't have an established record of accurate iPhone leaks. Previous leaks, also tracked by MacRumors, have suggested similar battery changes

Another rumor suggests the phone will come in seven colors instead of the current five: blue, pink, yellow, green, black, white and purple.

Apple representatives didn't respond to a request for comment.

Read more: iPhone 16: All the Major Rumors on Apple's Next iPhone

The new details about the iPhone 16 Plus give some insight into how this year's model may stack up against the rest of Apple's product line. Other rumors have suggested the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will sport more energy-efficient displays. Add that together with regular chip design improvements and software features, and the actual battery life of the iPhone 16 Plus may be unchanged from before. Still, tech industry watchers tend to see these types of moves as a downgrade.

Aside from battery and screen changes, Apple is also rumored to be adding the iPhone 15 Pro's well-received action button in place of a mute switch.

Apple is also expected to expand on the artificial intelligence technologies built into its iPhones, with a series of software upgrades expected to be announced during the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. In the past, Apple has also made AI-powered advancements, such as more capable photo editing or video stabilization, a key selling point of its annual iPhone upgrades.

Watch this: Latest iOS 18 Rumor Roundup: New Designs, AI Tricks

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

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