A new iPhone 16 case leak hints at this year's rear camera redesign

 IPhone 15 camera and back handheld.
IPhone 15 camera and back handheld.

We're seeing a steady stream of iPhone 16 leaks now, and the latest one comes from a tried and trusted source of advance information: case designs. A newly leaked case molding looks to have once again revealed the rear camera redesign heading to the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus.

This particular leak comes from serial tipster @SonnyDickson (via MacRumors), and shows the vertical pill-shaped look Apple is apparently going for this year when it comes to the two lenses on the back of the cheaper iPhone models.

It's a rumor that we've come across before, but the more leaks we see along the same lines, the more inclined we are to believe they're accurate – though nothing is certain until Apple gets around to an official launch (likely in September).

As well as renders showing the new design, we've also seen leaked schematics, and case molds, and dummy units revealing the new camera alignment, so that's a lot of leaks that need to be wrong if this isn't the design approach Apple is taking this year.

More spatial video?

Recent iPhones have put the two rear cameras diagonally on a square bump. The vertical alignment we're seeing in these new leaks has been used by Apple before, but you need to go back to the iPhone 12 in 2020 to find it.

As for why the switch back could be made, it seems spatial video might be the reason: while the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max can record this special 3D-enhanced video format (viewable on the Apple Vision Pro), the two cheaper 2023 models can't.

Having the dual cameras aligned vertically might enable the recording of spatial video, bringing it to more handsets and more people. Maybe Apple engineers just like the look of the new alignment too, and feel it's time for a change.

The three cameras we're expecting around the back of the iPhone 16 Pro and the iPhone 16 Pro Max don't appear to be shifting their position, and will most likely arrive in the standard triangle formation that's used on the current models.

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