Report Suggests the iPhone 16 May Receive a Significant Battery Enhancement

Report Suggests the iPhone 16 May Receive a Significant Battery Enhancement

Review of the Upcoming iPhone 16 Series Battery Improvements

iPhone 15 Plus review

Image: David Price / Foundry

Introduction to Leaked Battery Information

The latest bulletin from the iPhone rumors front line suggests the iPhone 16 and 16 Pro Max will each get an unusually large bump in battery capacity compared to their immediate predecessor. Oddly, however, the same report indicates that the iPhone 16 Plus is going to see its battery capacity shrink significantly.

Details from the Prolific Leaker

On Wednesday, the prolific leaker Majin Bu posted information about the batteries of this year’s new iPhones “based on the information I managed to obtain.” He gave the capacity for three out of four models, and also revealed that the Pro Max will get an updated internal structure with the L-shaped design left behind.

Based on the information I managed to obtain, the new iPhone 16 will have a 3561 mAh battery, while the 16 plus should have a 4006 mAh battery and the 16 Pro Max, should be equipped with a 4676 mAh battery that is no longer L-shaped due to the redesign of the internal structure…

— Majin Bu (@MajinBuOfficial) February 7, 2024

Comparative Analysis with Previous Generations

Here’s how those numbers compare to the previous generation:

  • iPhone 16: 3,561mAh (up 6.3% on iPhone 15)
  • iPhone 16 Plus: 4,006mAh (down 8.6% on iPhone 15 Plus)
  • iPhone 16 Pro: N/A
  • iPhone 16 Pro Max: 4,676mAh (up 5.3%/5.7% on iPhone 15 Pro Max)

Annual Increment Trends and Real-World Battery Life Improvements

Those percentages might not seem much, but they’re far bigger jumps than we’re used to. The largest change in the 15-series generation was a bump of just 2.7%. Bu doesn’t share the specs for iPhone 16 Pro battery, but a previous report claimed it will have a 3,355mAh battery.

Historical Battery Capacity Data for Context

(Note that the 15 Pro Max’s battery capacity remains strangely disputed.) There weren’t any comparable jumps in the previous generation either:

  • iPhone 14: 3,279mAh (up 1.2% on iPhone 13)
  • iPhone 14 Plus: 4,323mAh (no equivalent in previous generation)
  • iPhone 14 Pro: 3,200mAh (up 3.4% on iPhone 13 Pro)
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: 4,323mAh (down 0.7% on iPhone 13 Pro Max)

Improvement in Battery Life Despite Capacity Trends

Long-term Apple followers will be aware that the general trend is for iPhone battery specs to stay roughly the same, with either very small annual increases or occasional decreases, but for battery performance to improve steadily regardless of the specs. The 14-series phones listed above all had estimated battery lives one hour longer than their predecessors, including the Pro Max, and that’s despite the new inclusion of an always-on display on the Pro models.

The Role of Software Optimizations in Battery Performance

Rather than focusing on battery specs, Apple aims to improve battery performance through software optimizations, something it can control more easily than most other phone manufacturers because it also designs the operating system. In other words, a 6 percent increase in the iPhone’s battery capacity could translate into a far larger improvement in real-world battery life. In fact, a previous report suggested Apple will be using a new battery casing and connector for the iPhone 16, which could mean there’s more at play than just more capacity.

Additional Resources and Further Reading

We have compiled a list of all the iPhone battery capacities so you can see how they compare.

For the latest information on those new features, by the way, remember to regularly check our iPhone 16 superguide.

Meet the Author

, Editor

David has loved the iPhone since covering the original 2007 launch; later his obsession expanded to include iPad and Apple Watch. He offers advice to owners (and prospective owners) of these devices.