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iPhone 16 reports: Spatial video and ultra thin bezels coming to all models

These leaked photos of aluminum casts show a new rear camera placement. Here's what else we're seeing.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
The Action button on the Nomad Modern Leather iPhone 15 case.

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max feature the Action button, but new reports indicate it could also come to standard iPhone 16 models.

Max Buondonno/ZDNET

The iPhone 16 launch is months away, but expectations are mounting. A set of new reports indicate that the iPhone 16 will have thinner bezels, while a leaked photo of dummy models depicting the full iPhone 16 lineup gives us a detailed look at changes coming to the iPhone 16, 16 Plus, 16 Pro, and 16 Pro Max.

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On X (formerly Twitter), Sonny Dickson shared photos of the aluminum casts for the upcoming iPhone models. These solid aluminum mock models are shared with accessory makers designing products for upcoming iPhone models to ensure they fit them at launch. 

The rear camera array on the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus returns to a vertical placement, reminiscent of the iPhone X series. Adding spatial video capture to the iPhone 16 base model is the likely reason for vertically aligning these cameras. 

iPhone 16 aluminum casts
Sonny Dickson/X & ZDNET

Currently, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are the only iPhone models that can capture spatial video. Apple changed the rear camera configuration with the 2023 iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max launch, arranging the wide and ultrawide lenses vertically on the left of the back of the iPhone, with the telephoto lens alone on the right, enabling spatial video capture. 

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max capture spatial videos for the Apple Vision Pro by simultaneously using both the main and ultrawide cameras, scaling the UW camera's field of view to match that of the main camera. 

All four casts of the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro, iPhone 16 Plus, and iPhone 16 Pro Max models showcase a new "Capture" button, likely for enhanced photo and video functions, and an Action button, a feature introduced last year that is exclusive for iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models. 

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While Apple hasn't confirmed what actions the new "Capture" button will perform, MacRumors reported that the button is expected to serve multiple functions related to photography and videography. These actions could include shortcuts to access the camera, the ability to switch between different shooting modes or camera lenses, instant photo or video capture, or other advanced camera controls. 

The new iPhone 16 dummy models also look slightly thinner and larger than previous ones. Apple is increasing the iPhone's screen sizes from 6.1 to 6.3 inches in the base iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro and from 6.7 to 6.9 inches in the iPhone Plus and iPhone Pro Max models. 

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New reports from The Elec also indicate that the iPhone 16 will feature thinner bezels than ever. The new design and manufacturing process will involve a Border Reduction Structure (BRS) technique to minimize the bezels around the display by maximizing screen real estate without significantly increasing the phone's overall size, one of Apple's goals when increasing the iPhone's screen sizes. 

This BRS technique involves more complex manufacturing processes, including integrating display components in tighter spaces and adjusting display circuitry to fit within the reduced bezel area. LG Display, the manufacturer of iPhone OLED displays, is reportedly diversifying its Display Driver ICs supply chain to meet Apple's requirements, bringing on Novatech from Taiwan and its existing supplier, LX Semicon. 

Also: Apple's mysterious iOS 17.4.1 and iPad OS 17.4.1 updates are actually very important

Apple is set to launch the new iPhone 16 smartphone lineup in the fall. The company is holding its annual WWDC on June 10, showcasing new software capabilities that may hint at some features coming to the iPhone 16. 

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