Leaked iPhone 16 case molds hint at MagSafe upgrades this year

iPhones and MagSafe chargers
iPhones have supported MagSafe since 2020 (Image credit: Apple)

There's been no shortage of iPhone 16 leaks already, ahead of an expected September launch, and the latest to emerge suggests that the MagSafe charging system used by Apple's flagship phone series might be getting tweaked this year.

This particular tip comes from ShopSystem (via Neowin), and involves molds used by third-party case makers so they can get their wares ready for the iPhone 16 launch. They usually give us a good indication of what the actual phones will look like.

In this case it's noticeable that the MagSafe rings on the back of the iPhone 16 models are thinner than those on their iPhone 15 counterparts. It's not the most dramatic of changes, but it hints that the wireless charging tech might be about to become more efficient and lightweight – perhaps with a reduction in charger sizes.

The iPhone version of MagSafe (as opposed to the older Mac technology) was launched in 2020 alongside the iPhone 12. It's probably due an upgrade, perhaps including a charging speed increase from the current 15W, but this might also mean the new iPhones will require a whole new set of accessories and cases.

Photos, videos, and AI

Hands-on with the iPhone 15 Plus

The iPhone 15 Plus (Image credit: Future)

These case molds also show a vertical camera alignment for the iPhone 16 and the iPhone 16 Plus, which we've heard about before. Check out our iPhone 15 review and you'll see the two rear cameras are arranged in a diagonal pattern.

The thinking is that swapping the alignment of the cameras might enable the cheaper iPhones to record spatial video: that's the 3D video format developed by Apple that can be viewed on the Apple Vision Pro.

We've also heard rumors that the Pro and Pro Max are going to get slightly bigger screens this time around, but it's difficult to tell from these case molds. Given the way the industry has been going in the last year or so, it's likely that the iPhone 16 is going to go big on AI too, with the help of iOS 18.

If Apple sticks to its usual schedule this year, then we should see the iPhone 16, the iPhone 16 Plus, the iPhone 16 Pro, and the iPhone 16 Pro Max show up at some point during September. Before that happens, there's a big iPad event scheduled for tomorrow, May 7, where we're expecting several new tablets.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.