iPhone 16 — Apple tipped to upgrade microphone to supercharge Siri AI

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We can expect to see the iPhone 16 get "a significant upgrade in microphone specification" according to expert analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, seemingly in the name of readying the phone for new AI capabilities.

The point of the new microphone will be to help Siri work more effectively, Kuo explains, as Apple will supposedly use its voice assistant as the main interface for its new iPhone's AI abilities. With AI-generated content becoming a trend across the tech world, Kuo believes the iPhone 16 will emphasize AI features as well, with this microphone upgrade being the clearest sign so far in his opinion.

Upgrading the mic will apparently bring an improved signal-to-noise ratio (making your voice clearer to Siri while minimizing background noise), as well as enhanced water resistance. Kuo adds that Apple partners AAC and Goertek should be supplying the parts for this.

Getting ready to fight Galaxy S24 Ultra 

We've already seen one AI-focused phone launch this year in the form of the Google Pixel 8 Pro, but the Samsung Galaxy S24 tipped for early 2024 is also rumored to be heavily focused on AI features. While the iPhone 16 is still quite a way off of launching, we've heard that the iOS 18 software update will also focus on AI abilities, although Apple will continue to focus on performing all AI tasks on-device for increased security at the same time.

The Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Ultra will reportedly offer a wide range of AI features, For example, AI Translate Call will allow you to call someone who speaks another language and get audio and text translations in real time.

Other generative AI features are on the way as well. Samsung Gauss, the generative AI model developed by Samsung Research, will be able to help you compose emails and summarize documents. The AI can also generate and edit images as well as convert low-res images to high resolution. 

Kuo also thinks Apple may start adding new mics to its other devices, which he doesn't specify but we'd have to imagine would include future iPads and MacBooks at the very least. He also suggests that other smartphone makers may start upgrading their microphones for similar reasons as well.

Hopefully the rumor mill will continue to grind away over the next several months to bring us more iPhone 16 rumors that will help flesh out what Apple's new AI abilities could be. We may already know a surprising amount about next year's iPhones though, with tipsters claiming that the iPhone 15 Pro's Action button will be added to all models, as well as a new Capture button, and that we'll see larger displays and 5x optical zoom on both the Pro and Pro Max models.

More from Tom's Guide

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.