Apple iPhone 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide [2024]

iPhone 101 The Complete Buyer’s Guide

Are you considering buying your first iPhone? With so many models to choose from, it can be overwhelming. Don’t worry; this guide covers literally everything – even the boring stuff!

Buying An iPhone In 2024? Let’s Go!

What iPhone Should I Buy in 2024?

For most people, the simplest choice is to get the most current model which is the iPhone 15 series. But if you want to save some cash, going with a slightly older model is a great way to do this. 

Richard Goodwin

The iPhone 15 series is brilliant. Me? I’m still running an iPhone 13 because, well… mine still works great. If you want to save some cash on your next iPhone, look at older models like the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13.

Richard Goodwin, Editor

Frequently Asked Questions

Key (But Boring) iPhone Facts

If you’re completely new to iPhone, you’ll have questions – and some of them while a little boring need to be answered. Let’s do that now

iPhone Weight Comparison

Explore the evolution of iPhone weights across generations. Discover which models are the lightest and heaviest, and learn how Apple has managed to balance weight and features in each new release.

iPhone Size Comparison

Compare the sizes of various iPhone models, from the compact iPhone SE to the expansive iPhone 15 Pro Max. Find the perfect fit for your hand and pocket in this comprehensive guide.

iPhone Charging Speeds

Uncover the charging speeds of different iPhone models and chargers. Learn how to optimize your charging experience and discover which combinations yield the fastest charging times.

Buying iPhones: A Guide

New to the world of iPhones? This beginner’s guide walks you through everything you need to know before making your purchase, from choosing the right model to understanding key features and accessories.


Still have questions?

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Ask us via email!

Are you considering buying your first iPhone? With so many models to choose from, it can be overwhelming. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! This comprehensive guide will help you understand the different iPhone models, their features, and which one best suits your needs.

The latest iPhone series is Apple’s iPhone 15 series but later on this year it will be replaced by the incoming iPhone 16 series

If you’re worried about being up to date for as long as possible, it might be worth waiting for the iPhone 16 to land. The iPhone 15 models are still very good though and well worth a look if you’re due an upgrade. 

Millions of iPhones are sold every day. And iPhone users tend to remain loyal to Apple. The reason? Apple’s outstanding support and the fact its iPhones last 2x to 3x longer than most Android phones

Why Choose An iPhone?

The iPhone is a true marvel of modern technology, offering users an unparalleled experience that seamlessly combines ease of use, versatility, and cutting-edge features.

With its user-friendly interface, even those who are new to smartphones can quickly master the device and unlock its full potential.

The iPhone’s ability to integrate effortlessly with other Apple devices, such as the iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch, creates a harmonious ecosystem that simplifies your digital life.

Its high-quality cameras consistently deliver stunning images and videos. And with regular software updates from Apple, your iPhone remains secure, up-to-date, and optimized for peak performance for years on end.

Speaking of security, the iPhone is renowned for its robust privacy features, giving you peace of mind in an increasingly digital world. From advanced encryption to secure authentication methods like Face ID and Touch ID, Apple goes above and beyond to safeguard your personal information.

Latest iPhone Models [2024]

iphone 15 alternatives

iPhone 15 Series

  • iPhone 15
  • iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max

In September 2023, Apple unveiled its highly anticipated iPhone 15 lineup, consisting of four models: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. These devices showcase Apple’s commitment to innovation, performance, and user experience.

Design and Display

All iPhone 15 models feature a sleek, modern design with edge-to-edge displays and reduced bezels. Apple didn’t make too many changes between generations but that’s pretty much par for the course with iPhone.

All the big changes, most of the time, relate to things like performance, the camera tech, and user-focussed updates like Apple’s incoming AI features for the iPhone 16 series.

There were changes though. The Pro models got a new titanium frame for enhanced durability and a premium look.

The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus offer 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED displays, while the Pro models boast advanced ProMotion technology with adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz.

Performance and Battery Life

  • The iPhone 15 series is powered by Apple’s latest A17 Bionic chip, offering unparalleled performance and energy efficiency.
  • The Pro models feature an enhanced 6-core CPU and 5-core GPU, delivering even better performance for demanding tasks and graphics-intensive applications.
  • All models offer excellent battery life, with the iPhone 15 Plus and Pro Max providing the longest battery life ever in an iPhone.

Camera System

The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus feature an advanced dual-camera system with improved low-light performance and enhanced portrait mode capabilities.

The Pro models introduce a new quad-camera setup, including a groundbreaking periscope telephoto lens with up to 10x optical zoom and a LiDAR scanner for enhanced depth perception and AR experiences.

All models support Apple ProRAW and Dolby Vision HDR video recording, offering professional-level photography and videography capabilities.

Connectivity and Features

  • The iPhone 15 series supports 5G networks, enabling faster download and upload speeds, as well as improved connectivity in congested areas.
  • All models feature MagSafe technology for seamless wireless charging and compatibility with a wide range of accessories.
  • The Pro models introduce a new always-on display feature, allowing users to view important information at a glance without waking up the device.

Pricing and Availability

  • The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus start at $799 and $899, respectively, while the Pro models start at $999 for the iPhone 15 Pro and $1,099 for the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
  • The devices are available in a range of storage capacities, from 128GB to 1TB – only the Pro / Pro Max models come with 1TB.

Older Models (Worth Considering)

Apple’s iOS Software

Apple's iPhone 101: The Complete Beginner's Guide [2024]

iOS Key Takeaways

Apple’s next major iOS update will be iOS 18 which is expected during the back-end of 2024. It’s going to be a pretty sizable update, bringing Apple’s long-expected generative AI technology to iPhone for the first time.

  • 📱 iOS powers iPhones, offering a seamless, intuitive, and secure user experience with optimal performance and efficiency.
  • 🔄 iOS features a user-friendly interface with a simple design across all apps, making it easy for users to navigate and interact.
  • 🔗 iOS tightly integrates with other Apple devices and services like iCloud, iMessage, and FaceTime, allowing seamless data syncing and communication.
  • 🛑 However, iOS has limitations compared to Android, such as less customization options and restricted default app settings.

iOS 17 Features

  • 🔒 iOS 17 prioritizes privacy and security with features like App Privacy Report and enhanced encryption for user data protection.
  • 💬 Siri is improved in iOS 17 with enhanced capabilities for natural interactions and handling complex tasks.
  • 🔄 iOS 17 enhances integration between iPhones and other Apple devices, enabling easy file sharing via AirDrop and iCloud.
  • 🤔 While iOS 17 offers many benefits, some users may prefer the flexibility of Android or avoid the Apple ecosystem lock-in.

Apps and the App Store

  • 📲 The App Store offers a vast selection of high-quality apps for various purposes, subject to rigorous review ensuring quality and security.
  • 🛡️ App Store’s strict review process protects users from malware and privacy violations but may limit app diversity and delay developer submissions.
  • 💰 Apps in the App Store range from free to paid, allowing users to choose based on their needs and budget.

Here’s all the best iPhone apps for 2024 and beyond.

Learn More About iOS 17

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    iOS 17.4 Will FINALLY Let Users Sideload Apps

    Apple’s latest installment of iOS 17 – iOS 17.4 – is landing very soon, and the update is a pretty significant one – it’s FINALLY bringing the ability to sideload apps… Apple’s walled garden has been breached, at least if you live in the EU. The latest build of iOS 17 – iOS 17.4 – which will begin rolling…

  • iOS 17 Release Date: When’s It Landing?

    iOS 17 Release Date: When’s It Landing?

    iOS 17 is releasing in 2023, but when can you expect it? The iOS 17 release date depends on whether you are a developer, beta tester, or user… It’s 2023, which means another year of Apple hardware and software releases. We’ve already detailed what hardware to expect from Apple in 2023 and what software to…

  • iOS 17 Beta Versions: Update Tracker (June 2023)

    iOS 17 Beta Versions: Update Tracker (June 2023)

    Wondering when the iOS 17 beta is coming out? What versions will have which updates? Here’s what you need to know about the iOS 17 beta… One of Apple’s biggest software releases of 2023 will be iOS 17, the next-generation operating system that will power the iPhone 15 series. iOS 17 is packed with more…

  • iOS 17 Supported Devices: Will Your iPhone Get It?

    iOS 17 Supported Devices: Will Your iPhone Get It?

    iOS 17 will debut to the public in September 2023. But what will the iOS 17 supported devices be? Whenever Apple releases a new operating system, people wonder what its supported devices will be. A supported device means the iPhone is capable of installing and running a select version of iOS. The big question is:…

What is iOS?

iOS is the operating system that powers iPhones, providing a smooth, intuitive, and secure user experience. It is designed to work seamlessly with iPhone hardware, offering optimal performance and efficiency.

iOS is known for its user-friendly interface, with a simple and consistent design across all apps and features. This makes it easy for users to navigate and interact with their devices, even if they are new to the platform.

One of the key benefits of iOS is its tight integration with other Apple devices and services, such as iCloudiMessage, and FaceTime. This allows users to easily sync their data, communicate with others, and access their content across multiple devices.

However, iOS also has some limitations compared to Android. For example, it offers less customization options, as users cannot change the default apps or modify the home screen layout as extensively as on Android devices.

iOS 17 Features

iOS 17, released in 2023, brings a range of new features and improvements to enhance the user experience and security of iPhones.

Privacy and security are major focus areas in iOS 17. New features like App Privacy Report provide users with detailed information about how apps access their data, while enhanced encryption ensures that user data remains protected.

Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, has been improved in iOS 17 with new capabilities and better performance. Users can now interact with Siri more naturally, and the assistant can handle more complex tasks and queries.

iOS 17 also introduces new features that improve the integration between iPhones and other Apple devices. For example, users can now easily share files and data between their iPhone, iPad, and Mac using AirDrop and iCloud.

Apps and the App Store

The App Store is a key strength of the iOS platform, offering a vast selection of high-quality apps for various purposes, from productivity and entertainment to education and health.

All apps in the App Store undergo a rigorous review process by Apple, ensuring that they meet strict quality and security standards. This helps to protect users from malware, privacy violations, and other potential risks.

Many apps in the App Store are available for free, while others require a one-time purchase or ongoing subscription. This allows users to choose the apps that best meet their needs and budget.

However, the App Store’s review process can also be seen as a drawback by some developers, as it can be time-consuming and restrictive. Some apps may be rejected or delayed due to Apple’s strict guidelines, limiting the diversity of apps available on the platform.

iOS Updates

One of the key advantages of iOS is its regular software updates, which provide new features, bug fixes, and security improvements to iPhones.

Apple typically releases a major iOS update once a year, with smaller updates throughout the year to address specific issues and add minor features.

iPhones are known for their longevity, with many models receiving software updates for five years or more after their initial release. This ensures that users can enjoy the latest features and security improvements for an extended period, without needing to upgrade their device frequently.

However, some older iPhone models may not be compatible with the latest iOS updates, which can be frustrating for users who want to access new features or security improvements.

Apple’s iOS offers a user-friendly, secure, and efficient platform for iPhone users, with a wide range of high-quality apps and regular software updates. While it may not be as customizable as Android, iOS’s tight integration with other Apple devices and services, as well as its focus on privacy and security, make it a compelling choice for many users. Ultimately, the choice between iOS and Android depends on individual preferences and needs.

Key Features to Consider

Is The iphone 12 Waterproof

iPhone Screen Sizes Evolution

Smaller Screens (4.7″ – 6.1″): 👍 Easy one-handed use

Larger Screens (6.1″ – 6.7″): 📺 Better for media consumption

Historical Overview:

  • 3.5in to 4in iPhone Era: 📱 Original iPhone with 3.5-inch display (2007) 📱 iPhone 5 introduced 4-inch display (2012)
  • Move to Larger Sizes: 📱 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus introduced larger displays (2014) 📱 Acknowledged demand for more screen real estate 🌐 Improved web browsing, video watching, and multitasking
  • Discontinuation of 4-inch Models: 🚫 Phased out smaller 4-inch models 📱 iPhone SE (2016) was the last 4-inch model 🔄 Updated in 2020 with 4.7-inch display
  • Current iPhone Sizes (as of 2024): 📱 iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: 6.1-inch 📱 iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max: 6.7-inch ❌ iPhone 13 mini discontinued in 2022
  • Consumer Trends: 📈 Majority prefer larger displays for media and productivity 📱 Niche market for compact devices addressed by iPhone 13 mini

Which iPhone Screen Size is Best?

  • Smaller screens (4.7″ – 6.1″): Easy one-handed use
  • Larger screens (6.1″ – 6.7″): Better for media consumption

Over the years, Apple has gradually shifted towards larger iPhone sizes, reflecting changing consumer preferences and the increasing importance of smartphones in our daily lives.

We have a dedicated article that compares all the different sizes of Apple’s iPhone dating back to 2007.

The 3.5in to 4in iPhone Era

  • The original iPhone, released in 2007, featured a 3.5-inch display, which was considered large for its time.
  • This size remained consistent until the introduction of the iPhone 5 in 2012, which increased the display size to 4 inches while maintaining a compact form factor.

The Move to Larger Sizes

In 2014, Apple introduced the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays, respectively. This marked a significant shift towards larger smartphones and acknowledged the growing demand for more screen real estate.

The larger displays allowed for a better user experience when browsing the web, watching videos, and using apps, as well as improved productivity and multitasking capabilities.

The Discontinuation of 4-inch Models

As the popularity of larger iPhones grew, Apple gradually phased out its smaller 4-inch models.

The iPhone SE, released in 2016, was the last 4-inch iPhone produced by Apple. Although it was updated in 2020 with a 4.7-inch display, the original compact form factor was discontinued.

The decision to move away from 4-inch iPhones reflects the changing market landscape and consumer preferences, as most users now prioritize larger screens for media consumption and productivity.

Current iPhone Sizes

iPhone 15

As of 2024, Apple offers iPhones in three main size categories: the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The iPhone 13 mini, introduced in 2021, catered to a niche market of users who prefer a more compact device while still enjoying modern features and performance but this model was discontinued in 2022 with the release of the iPhone 14 series.

The majority of Apple’s iPhone lineup now focuses on larger displays, with the 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch models being the most popular choices among consumers.

While some users may miss the compact 4-inch iPhone form factor, Apple’s move towards larger displays has been driven by evolving consumer needs and preferences.

The increased screen real estate has enabled users to enjoy a more immersive and productive experience on their iPhones, while still maintaining a balance between size and portability.

iPhone Camera Tech

iPhone Camera Features & Settings

Pro Model Cameras vs Standard Model Cameras

Pro Models:

  • 📸 Advanced camera systems featuring LiDAR and telephoto lens
  • 🔍 Enhanced zoom and improved low-light performance
  • 🎥 Apple ProRes video recording for professional-grade videography
  • 🌌 Night mode portraits enabled by the LiDAR scanner 🔧 ProRAW support for greater editing flexibility

Non-Pro Models:

  • 📸 Dual-camera system with improved Wide and Ultra Wide lenses
  • 🌃 Night mode for stunning low-light photos
  • 🎨 Enhanced computational photography for better dynamic range
  • 👥 Great for everyday photography and social media sharing

Benefits of Pro Models:

  • 🔍 Versatility with quad-camera setup and up to 10x optical zoom
  • 🌌 Enhanced low-light performance and Night mode portraits 🖌️ ProRAW and ProRes support for creative control
  • 🕹️ Improved AR experiences with LiDAR scanne🎬 Advanced video features for professional-grade recording

The iPhone 15 series, released in 2023, showcases Apple’s continued commitment to mobile photography innovation. Both the Pro and non-Pro models offer impressive camera systems, but the Pro models stand out with advanced features and hardware upgrades.

Non-Pro Models (iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus)

Pro Models (iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max)

  • Quad-camera system with an additional Telephoto lens and a LiDAR scanner
  • LiDAR scanner for improved depth perception, faster autofocus, and enhanced AR experiences
  • Telephoto lens with up to 10x optical zoom and 15x digital zoom
  • ProRAW support for greater creative control and editing flexibility
  • Night mode portraits enabled by the LiDAR scanner
  • Apple ProRes video recording for professional-grade videography
  • Improved Cinematic mode with support for 4K HDR recording at 60fps

Benefits of the Pro Models’ Camera System:

  • Versatility: The quad-camera setup, including the Telephoto lens, offers greater versatility for capturing a wide range of subjects and scenes, from wide landscapes to distant wildlife.
  • Low-light performance: The LiDAR scanner enhances low-light photography by providing faster and more accurate autofocus, as well as enabling Night mode portraits.
  • ProRAW and ProRes: Support for ProRAW and ProRes formats allows for greater creative control and flexibility in post-processing, making the Pro models ideal for professional photographers and videographers.
  • Improved AR capabilities: The LiDAR scanner enables more immersive and accurate AR experiences, opening up new possibilities for gaming, home design, and other applications.
  • Advanced video features: With support for Apple ProRes and improved Cinematic mode, the Pro models offer professional-grade video recording capabilities, suitable for content creators and filmmakers.

iPhone Camera Tips & Guides

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  • What is RAW on iPhone Camera? A Complete Beginner’s Guide

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  • Deep Fusion Explained: The iPhone Camera’s Secret Weapon…

    Deep Fusion Explained: The iPhone Camera’s Secret Weapon…

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  • Cinematic Mode on iPhone Explained: What It Is & How It Works

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    The iPhone 13 Pro’s new feature lets you shoot movies like Hollywood pros. Apple’s new iPhone 13 series has officially been unveiled. The new iPhone 13 series comes in a wealth of color options and new storage options. They also feature the faster A15 chipset (but sorry, still no under-screen Touch ID) and the Pro…

  • iPhone Photo Academy Review: Is It Any Good?

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    I recently signed-up to the well known iPhone Photo Academy course with a view to quickly improving my iPhone photography skills. Was it any good? Here’s my iPhone Photo Academy review… Why I Signed Up For iPhone Photo Academy 99.9% of iPhone users have zero idea about how to use one of the most powerful…

Processing Power: Apple’s A-Series Chipsets

Apple's iPhone 101: The Complete Beginner's Guide [2024]

Apple’s A-series chips are a family of powerful, custom-designed processors that form the heart of the company’s mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs.

These system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs integrate various components such as CPU cores, GPU cores, memory, and other specialized processing units into a single package, offering significant performance and efficiency improvements over previous generations.

Evolution of A-Series Chips

  • A4 Chip: The Apple A4 chip, introduced in 2010, marked Apple’s first in-house SoC design. It was built using a 45nm process and featured a single-core ARM Cortex-A8 CPU clocked at 1 GHz, along with a PowerVR SGX535 GPU. The A4 chip debuted in the original iPad and was later used in the iPhone 4, 4th generation iPod Touch, and 2nd generation Apple TV.
  • A5 to A6X Chips: Subsequent iterations of the A-series chips brought significant advancements in performance and efficiency. The dual-core A5 chip, used in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, doubled the CPU and GPU performance compared to the A4. The A6 chip, found in the iPhone 5, introduced a custom-designed Swift CPU core architecture and a triple-core PowerVR SGX543MP3 GPU.
  • A7 Chip: The A7 chip, launched in 2013 with the iPhone 5S, marked a significant milestone as the world’s first 64-bit mobile processor. It featured a dual-core Cyclone CPU and a quad-core PowerVR G6430 GPU, manufactured using a 28nm process. The A7 chip provided up to twice the CPU and graphics performance of its predecessor.
  • A8 to A9X Chips: The A8 and A9 chips continued to push the boundaries of mobile performance, with the A9 chip offering up to 70% faster CPU performance and 90% faster GPU performance compared to the A8. The A9X chip, designed for the iPad Pro, featured a dual-core Twister CPU and a 12-core PowerVR Series 7XT GPU, delivering desktop-class performance in a tablet form factor.
  • A10 Fusion Chip: Introduced with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the A10 Fusion chip was the first Apple SoC to feature a quad-core CPU design. It utilized two high-performance Hurricane cores and two energy-efficient Zephyr cores, allowing for optimal balance between performance and power efficiency. The A10 Fusion also included a six-core PowerVR Series7XT Plus GPU.
  • A11 Bionic to A14 Bionic Chips: The A11 Bionic chip, used in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, introduced a six-core CPU design with two high-performance Monsoon cores and four energy-efficient Mistral cores. It also featured an Apple-designed three-core GPU and a Neural Engine for machine learning tasks. Subsequent A-series chips, up to the A14 Bionic, brought further improvements in performance, efficiency, and neural processing capabilities.
  • A15 Bionic to A17 Bionic Chips: The A15 Bionic chip, found in the iPhone 13 series, offered significant advancements over its predecessor, with a six-core CPU design featuring two high-performance Avalanche cores and four energy-efficient Blizzard cores. The A15 Bionic also included a five-core Apple GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine.

The latest A-series chip, the A17 Bionic, introduced in 2023, pushes mobile performance to new heights. It features an 8-core CPU design with four high-performance cores and four efficiency cores, a 10-core Apple GPU with support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading, and a 32-core Neural Engine for advanced machine learning tasks.

The A17 Bionic is manufactured using TSMC’s cutting-edge 3nm process technology, and there’s already plenty of leaks about the iPhone 16’s A18 CPU coming in – it sounds pretty impressive too.

Which iPhone is Right for You?

The iPhone 14 Pro’s 5G is 38% Faster

Most users – like 99.9% of people – will be fine with the base models. The iPhone 15 is the most compact in the range, with its 6.1in display, while the slightly more expensive iPhone 15 Plus packs in more battery life. 

Both the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are rock-solid performers with excellent camera tech. If you’re not using your phone for content creation, Apple’s base model iPhones are all you’ll need. 

If you’re more of a pro user and you use your phone to create content, either social media posts and/or videos for YouTube, you’ll want to get one of the Pro models – either the iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max. 

Like the base model iPhones, the Pro and Pro Max inside Apple’s iPhone 15 series pack in the same spec. The Pro Max version is just bigger with a 6.7in display and a larger battery. 

You can also get the Pro models with 1TB of storage too, and you will need this if you use things like ProRes and ProRAW – the file sizes are crazy large. 

If you’re looking to save some cash on your next iPhone, consider getting a refurbished iPhone – they’re usually 40% cheaper than new and look and function as good as new.

Latest iPhone 16 News & Updates

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    No, There Won’t Be An iPhone 16 Ultra – Here’s Why…

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  • iPhone 16 Release Date: Everything You Need To Know

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    Apple’s getting bullish ahead of the launch of its iPhone 16 series, as reports confirm it has just ordered a cool 100 million A18 chipsets for its new iPhone range. While Samsung is embroiled in a chip-related existential crisis, with Qualcomm’s price increases, poor yields for its Exynos 2500, and even talk of a MediaTek…

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  • iPhone 16 Colors: Here’s All Seven Rumored Shades

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  • iPhone 16 Leaks You Need to Know About [April 2024]

    iPhone 16 Leaks You Need to Know About [April 2024]

    The iPhone 16 series is a few months out but as always, we have a pretty good idea about what to expect from Apple’s 2024 iPhones… The iPhone 16 leaks, now that we’re edging close to its launch date, are happening more and more regularly. Apple keeps a tight lid on things, of course, but…

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