Leaked schematics ‘confirm’ iPhone 16’s iPhone X-style camera design

Yet more evidence has emerged suggesting that Apple plans to switch this year from a diagonal to a vertical configuration for the rear-facing cameras on its non-Pro iPhones.

Apple has changed this arrangement on multiple occasions in the past. The company started with two camera lenses in a horizontal configuration on the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus, before switching to a vertical layout on the iPhone X in 2017. Apple stuck with a vertical layout until the iPhone the iPhone 13 in 2021, but used a larger camera array to match the Pro models. In 2024, Apple is expected to return to a smaller vertical array like the one used on the iPhone X.

The reasoning behind these changes has always been somewhat obscure, with some pundits believing the diagonal layout allowed for larger sensors to be accommodated, while others think Apple just likes new phones to look different from previous generations for marketing purposes. But this year’s change has a more obvious rationale: vertical lenses will enable the iPhone 16 to take spatial videos for Vision Pro like the iPhone 15 Pro. (This is the same reason why Apple swapped the telephoto and ultra-wide lenses on the iPhone 15 Pro last year: so that the main and ultra-wide lenses would sit side by side when the phone was held in landscape orientation.)

The switch back to vertical has been rumored for some time. We first reported on this back in March 2023, long before the iPhone 15 came out; at the time the prediction was based on just one source, albeit one with a solid track record, so was regarded as uncertain. But a leak of alleged ‘prototypes’ in December made the idea seem considerably more credible.

And there have been more recent developments. On Sunday, the X/Twitter user Majin Bu posted leaked “schematics” of the iPhone 16, adding yet more credence to the prediction of vertical camera lenses. At the very least, this appears to indicate that Apple has been exploring this as one possible design.

The Apple news site MacRumors has since corroborated the schematics, saying that their own sources “align with” the shared images. And Majin Bu has in turn updated the prediction to say that the designs in the schematics “are almost 100% identical to the prototypes that are currently being tested by Apple” and that these “will most likely be the final design.”

Other than potentially bringing support for spatial video–which, perhaps surprisingly, Majin Bu says will only “probably” be added–the changed camera layout won’t make much difference to most users. But it would be a visible difference from the iPhone 15, which new iPhone buyers tend to appreciate. But there’s still a long way until the iPhone 16 arrives, so be sure to stay up to date with all the latest news and rumors in our regularly updated iPhone 16 superguide.

Source : Macworld