iPhone 17 and iPhone 17 Plus: 6 Anticipated Upgrades

  1. Redesigned Camera Layout The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus are rumored to have a vertical camera layout that’s similar to the camera layout used in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini.

  2. Action Button Instead of Mute Switch Currently, only the iPhone 15 Pro models include an Action Button, but in 2024, the Action Button is expected to be extended to the standard iPhone 16 models. The Action button replaces the mute switch previously found on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. However, unlike the mute switch, the Action button can be configured to perform a range of functions. On iPhone 16 models, Apple also plans to add even more functionality to the Action button by changing the button from mechanical to a capacitive-type button.

  3. Extra Capacitive Button A new physical “Capture Button” is rumored to be included on all iPhone 16 models. The button is located on the same side as the Power button, in the space that is occupied by the 5G mmWave antenna in the United States. What the button’s purpose is remains a mystery at this point (some speculate it is camera-related), but like the Power and Action buttons on the iPhone 16 models, the “Capture Button” is a capacitive button that is able to detect pressure and touch, providing haptic feedback when pressed.

  4. New Apple Silicon Chip The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus are expected to use an A17 chip, but rumors suggest it won’t be the same A17 Pro chip that’s in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple will reportedly use TSMC’s lower-cost N3E process instead. N3E is a more affordable node that has a lower transistor density, lower efficiency, and a higher yield. While one rumor has suggested Apple will call the chip used in the standard iPhone 16 models the “A17,” analyst Jeff Pu believes Apple will instead use A18 and A18 Pro naming, with all iPhone 16 models featuring some kind of A18-series chip.

  5. New Thermal Design The iPhone 16 models are expected to include a new thermal design based on graphene that will combat overheating, a problem that some iPhone 15 models suffered before Apple addressed the issue with a software update. Graphene has high thermal conductivity, surpassing that of copper, which is currently used in iPhone heat-sinks. Apple has been interested in graphene for thermal management for some time, filing patents related to its exploration of the material for heat dissipation in portable devices.

  6. New OLED Display Tech The OLED panels used in the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus could use micro-lens technology that could bring both improved brightness and reduced power consumption. Micro-lens arrays (MLA) use a uniform pattern of billions of lenses inside the panel to reduce internal reflection. These lenses turn the path of light reflected backwards from the inside of the panel towards the screen, increasing perceived brightness without increasing power consumption. The iPhone 16 models are expected to come out in September 2024.