AI-Powered iOS 18 Could Be the Key Feature of iPhone 16

Anticipation is building as we approach WWDC, and the AI rumor mill is buzzing with excitement. Recently, Mark Gurman reported that many of iOS 18’s AI features will require an iPhone 15 Pro or later. This is unusual, as major software features are rarely exclusive to the latest iPhone models, especially the Pro versions. However, it appears that iOS 18 will break this trend, potentially making AI the standout feature of the upcoming iPhone 16.

AI as the iPhone 16’s Main Selling Point

Apple’s marketing pitch for this fall’s iPhone 16 may center primarily on software, not hardware. The AI features in iOS 18 may be the biggest selling point for the iPhone 16.

What to Expect from the iPhone 16 Line

With Apple’s expected September launch of the iPhone 16 and 16 Pro just a few months away, here’s what the new models will introduce:

Pro Models Enhancements:

  • Bigger Displays:
    • iPhone 16 Pro: from 6.1” to 6.3”
    • iPhone 16 Pro Max: from 6.7” to 6.9”
  • New Capture Button:
    • Added to the right edge of all 16 models for advanced camera controls
  • Chip Upgrades:
    • A18 chip in the Pro models
    • A17 chip in the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus
  • Improved Camera Performance:
    • Enhanced low-light performance from the Pro main camera
    • 5x zoom tetraprism camera in the 16 Pro, previously exclusive to the 15 Pro Max

Standard Models Enhancements:

  • Chip Upgrade:
    • A17 chip that currently powers the iPhone 15 Pro

AI Features as the Core Selling Point

If Gurman’s report on the restrictions of many iOS 18 AI features proves true, the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus will be the only non-Pro phones supporting those features. This means:

  • AI Capabilities:
    • Thanks to the A17 chip, non-Pro users will have a compelling reason to upgrade to an iPhone 16.
  • User Experience:
    • While the new phone may not seem like a compelling option based on outward appearance alone, the host of AI-related iOS 18 features requiring an A17 or later will fill the gap.

Marketing Strategy

Apple and phone carriers will likely focus on the AI features as the main driver of sales. Most iPhone customers aren’t paying for specs or minor iterative improvements. Instead, they are interested in the experience the new phone offers. Here’s what to expect:

  • Advertising Focus:
    • AI wizardry made possible with the new iPhone or last year’s Pro model.
  • Pro Models:
    • The iPhone 16 Pro with its larger displays will be an easier sell, aided but not reliant on AI features.
  • Standard Models:
    • For iPhone 16 buyers, unlocking iOS 18’s full capabilities will be the must-have feature.


The iPhone 16 series, set to launch this September, may have its biggest selling point in the AI features of iOS 18. With major enhancements, especially for Pro models, and exclusive AI capabilities for the non-Pro models, Apple’s marketing will likely emphasize the software experience over hardware improvements. This strategy aims to showcase the revolutionary AI advancements as the primary reason for upgrading.

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