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How real is the iPhone 16 vertical camera leak?

The iPhone 16 vertical camera leak adds to the speculation about Apple's 'back to basics' approach this year, but does it hold any weight?

Screenshot for iPhone 16 vertical camera leak news with an iPhone 15 Pro commercial screenshot of the camera

For those living under an Apple-shaped rock, the internet is buzzing with potential iPhone 16 vertical camera leaks. Usually unveiled around September every year, there’s word of Apple focusing on its latest iPhone being the best-in-class for photography across the board. iPhone 15 paved the way for this thanks to a dedicated capture button. Still, the latest iPhone 16 vertical camera leak suggests the chassis for the camera optics is getting a massive overhaul.

Majin Bu, a reliable Apple leaker on X (Twitter), leaked two images of the new camera module for iPhone 16. One picture has the metal frame for the camera optics to sit in, and the second image superimposes the chassis on a previously leaked design spec for the upcoming iPhone 16. This would mean Apple is returning to the iPhone 12 camera array design from 2020. However, this is the plan for the base model iPhone 16. So, the iPhone vertical camera leaks don’t apply to any iPhone SE, Pro, and Max models that may also leak.

Although pictured upside down, Macrumors has reported that the iPhone 16 vertical camera leak is legitimate by independently confirming so with its own sources. Although the site clearly states it is only applicable to the base iPhone 16 model, adding clarity to the rumored iPhone 16 SE 4 single camera rumblings. The vertical camera design was first introduced on the iPhone X in 2017, which was later replaced by a diagonal setup with the iPhone 13 in 2021.

It looks like Apple is trying to return to its ‘core’ design philosophy of sleek yet functional. However, moving into a safer bet rather than trying to innovate arguably leaves the tech giant behind the Android alternatives. Majin Bu and Macrumors also state that the iPhone 16 may feature a thicker body to allow for a slimmer camera bezel, which isn’t a fresh take.

Image sourced from Majin Bu and Macrumors of iPhone 16 vertical camera leak design

As for iPhone 16 rumors in general, we’ve heard quite a lot so far. Potential users can look forward to an increased battery capacity thanks to the thicker build of 2024’s iPhone. Spacial video recording should also return from iPhone 15 Pro, hopefully working its way into lower-end models this time. Overall, it looks like Apple is cementing its place as the number one mobile video and picture option, but can consistently safe bets on yearly releases get them there? We’ll find out before too long.

There you have it, the latest iPhone 16 vertical camera leaks. For more on the latest smartphones, check out our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review, or take a browse through our picks for the best Samsung phones, best Google Pixel phones, and best Xiaomi phones.