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The iPhone 16 Pro Max may get a very important battery upgrade

A photo showing four dummy models of the iPhone 16 series.
iPhone 16 dummy models Sonny Dickson / X

The iPhone 16 still has many months to go before its anticipated announcement in the fall, but we’ve already gotten a slew of rumors, leaks, and speculation about its specs and capabilities. One of the latest rumors about the iPhone 16 Pro Max comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and it regards a new battery Apple is putting into the device.

According to Kuo’s latest supply chain survey, the iPhone 16 Pro Max will feature a battery cell with an increased energy density (Wh/kg). In simple terms, that means a longer battery life for the same battery size or a smaller battery size with the same battery life.

This is a good thing because recent rumors have also revealed that the iPhone 16 Pro Max may have the biggest display yet — 6.9 inches, up from the 6.7 inches of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. That means a (slightly) more power-hungry panel, so it’s good to hear that Apple is accommodating that with the increased battery density.

Increasing the battery’s energy density will also increase heat output during operation. To prevent overheating, Apple is also using a new stainless steel battery case for heat dissipation. While steel isn’t as good as aluminum as a heat sink, it’s stronger and more resistant to corrosion, which might be why Apple has changed the material. The new stainless steel battery shell should be provided by Xinwei Communications.

iPhone 16 Pro Max dummy unit next to a iPhone 15 Pro Max.
An iPhone 16 Pro Max dummy model (left) and an iPhone 15 Pro Max ZONEofTech

Kuo believes that if the new battery design with the energy density upgrade and stainless steel case goes smoothly, the next generation of the iPhone that’s arriving in 2025 (presumably the iPhone 17 if Apple sticks to its naming convention) will adopt the technology for every model.

The news about the new battery cell and shell follows rumors about a huge iPhone 16 redesign. All the iPhone 16 models are expected to get some design changes, with the iPhone 16 base model adding a vertical pill-like camera island. The iPhone 16 Pro is expected to get a larger Action Button and a new Capture Button, but retain the same overall design as last year.

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Ajay Kumar
Freelance Writer, Mobile
Ajay has worked in tech journalism for more than a decade as a reporter, analyst, and editor.
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