iPhone 16 is expected to arrive next year as the successor to the iPhone 15 series of smartphones, and while Apple’s next handsets aren’t expected to debut until the second half of 2024, details of their specifications have already begun to surface online. According to TF Securities International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s upcoming iPhone 16 models will be equipped with an upgraded microphone that is designed to significantly improve the Siri experience and voice input on the company’s purported smartphones.

Kuo shared details of his latest industry survey that indicates Apple’s next smartphones will “feature a significant upgrade in microphone specifications” in a blog post. The biggest improvement to the microphone’s specifications would be to the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This is the measure of the strength of the signal to be recorded, relative to the background or ambient noise. The microphones on the iPhone 16 series will also offer better water resistance, according to Kuo.

Apple wants to upgrade the microphones on the iPhone 16 in order to improve Siri performance on the handsets, the analyst says, explaining that this could be connected to the Cupertino company’s decision to rejig its Siri team to work on including large language models (LLMs) and artificial intelligence-generated content (AIGC) in Q3 2023.

The inclusion of upgraded microphone technology is expected to come at a cost. According to Kuo, the average sale price (ASP) of the microphones for all models in the iPhone 16 series could rise substantially — between 100 percent and 150 percent more than their predecessors. He adds that Apple’s component suppliers Goertek and AAC are expected to benefit the most from the company’s hardware upgrades.

Kuo isn’t the first to predict that Apple will offer significant upgrades to Siri with AI improvements to the iOS operating system next year. In October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said that Apple was working on major upgrades to the voice assistant’s capabilities, powered by Apple’s own LLM, along with better suggestions for the Messages app. Despite purported concerns with the AI features, the improved functionality could be introduced as early as 2024, according to Gurman.

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