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This iPhone 16 Pro Max design change could be a real game changer

An industry analyst has revealed more information about the iPhone 16 Pro Max’s design and suggests the device has increased battery life.

iPhone 16 Pro Max design: A white iPhone 15 Pr Max front and back outlined in white and pasted on a blue PT background

The latest insider information about the iPhone 16 Pro Max’s design addresses one of the most talked-about qualms with Apple’s smartphone range – the battery. It looks like the largest of the four iPhone models is switching to a stainless steel battery casing that could improve the device’s battery life while offering some other niche uses.

Tech industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared some key insights from his latest supply chain survey pertaining to Apple’s next generation of smartphones, in particular the iPhone 16 Pro Max. This isn’t the first iPhone 16 battery leak we’ve seen, but this material change paired with the fact that it only affects the Pro Max model offers some new insights into the company’s future development plans.

Kuo says that the energy density of the iPhone 16 Pro Max’s battery is increasing, meaning we could see improvements in battery life without scaling up the handset in the next release. Forbes suggested that we may see Apple “shrink the battery and give the valuable space freed up to other components or even make the phone smaller,” but this is unlikely given the existing iPhone 16 Pro Max dummy model leaks which suggest a slight increase in device size.

In the same Forbes article, David Phelan suggested that instead of increasing the battery life, the beefier energy density could allow the brand to “add extra features and capabilities which are more power-hungry, leaving battery life the same overall.” Given Apple’s AI plans for iOS 18, this new battery setup could be a test run for future models once the technology is fully integrated across all products.

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The iPhone 16 Pro Max’s new stainless steel battery casing also serves as a heat sink to prevent the device from burning up in your hands. According to Kuo, “Stainless steel is not as effective as aluminum in dissipating heat, but it is more robust and less susceptible to corrosion”, effectively balancing thermal regulation and protection for your device. Plus, much like the Nintendo Switch’s battery, Apple’s current hardware doesn’t comply with new EU legislation around end-user battery replacement. The stainless steel casing would change this issue.

That’s everything we know so far about the iPhone 16 Pro Max’s design changes. For more news on the upcoming iPhone line, check out our coverage of the iPhone 16 Pro display rumor, or the iPhone 16 Plus colors rumor.