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What Are the Supported Video Formats for iPhone Playback & Record

Be clear about supported movie video formats for iPhone and learn how to easily convert any movie video to iPhone supported video formats.

What are the movie video formats for iPhone? You can review below for what exactly the iPhone compatible video formats are. And it will provide you an ultimate solution to convert any incompatible video formats to iPhone supported file formats with a nice powerful movie video converter.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Supported Movie Video Formats for iPhone Playback

Before we demystify the iPhone supported video formats, we need to figure out the difference between video codecs and video containers first. Primarily, video codecs are not equal to video containers. Video codecs are computer algorithms designed to compress the file size of a video. Without a video codec, video files would simply be too large to stream online.

Well, video containers are not closely related with the quality of the final video. Instead, video containers are just a housing with varied types of items wrapped, including the video codec, audio codec, closed captioning information, and metadata. And it's easy for you to know what container format your video adopts by the file extension at the end of the file.

Considering the huge differences between video codecs and video container formats, we sort them out individually below:

1. iPhone Supported Video Codecs for Playback

H.264: up to 1080p (1920 x1080 pixels), 60 frames per second, High Profile level 4.2/4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats.

MPEG-4: up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 x 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats.

HEVC: iPhone is accommodated with the first chip (A10) that is able to handle HEVC video.

best iPhone video codecs

Motion JPEG (M-JPEG): up to 35 Mbps, 1280 x 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format.

ProRes: come to iPhone models since iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max and is good for latter video editing with highest possible quality.

2. iPhone Supported Video Container Formats for Playback

iPhone devices can open and play videos or movies saved in container formats like .mp4, .mov, .m4v, .3gp. As for other video container formats, it won't analyze your video info and play it thereon.

Therefore, if you want to play unsupported video formats on iPhone, like the FLV, AVI, WMV, MKV, M2TS, AVCHD, etc. you have to figure out a way to convert these incompatible movie video files to iPhone supported video formats as MP4, MOV, M4V.

3. iPhone Supported Audio Formats for Playback

The list of iPhone best audio formats includes AAC, HE-AAC, MP3 (bitrate from 8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV.

Part 2. Supported Video Formats for iPhone Recording & Motion Effects

On top of iPhone best video formats for playback, some of you might still need to know the best video formats for iPhone to record in and for iPhone motion effects processing. Read on if needed:

1. iPhone Supported Recording Video Formats

The default video recording format for iPhone is H.264 QuickTime files in MOV format. To save your iPhone storage space, you can also change the recording setting into the "High Efficiency" option, which will save space roughly 40%-60% and store your recordings in HEVC (aka. H265) format.

Since the release of iOS 11, iPhone 8 and later newer iPhones record videos in HEVC format by default. And since the release of iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max (at least iOS 15.1), you can record videos in Apple ProRes codec at 1080p/4K resolution on iPhone.

iPhone ProRes codec

Pro Tip: though Apple ProRes codec is superior to other video codecs in video quality, it guzzles an unwieldy amount of memory on your iPhone. Stick to H264 or HEVC codec if you have no need for latter video editing after recording.

2. Supported Video Formats for iPhone Motion Effects

The video footages downloaded from online sites or captured by your iPhone will need a further polishing before syncing to iPhone, sharing to SNS platforms or demonstrating. Thus, you might need Apple Motion tool to add stunning visual effects to your video footages. Notwithstanding iPhone and Motion app originate from the same company - Apple, the video formats they support are not 100% overlapped.

As a result, you need to know the best video formats supported by both your iPhone and Apple Motion before you import video clips into Motion or choose the final video codec and container format for exporting your iPhone clips.

  • Best video codecs for iPhone and Motion: H.264 (AVC); H.265 (HEVC); Apple ProRes, ProRes RAW
  • Best video codecs for iPhone and Motion: MP4, MOV (QuickTime), 3GP

Part 3. Convert Any Video to iPhone Supported Video Codecs/Formats

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe, an excellent video converter, enables you to easily convert any 8K/4K/1080p/720p HD/SD video in almost any format, like AVI, WMV, FLV, MKV, AVCHD, VOB, MTS, etc. to iPhone acceptable video formats as MP4, MOV, M4V and H264, HEVC, ProRes, MPEG-4, M-JPEG codecs. It can convert videos with original quality at super-fast speed, by taking advantage of its High Quality Engine, multi-core CPU and GPU hardware acceleration technology including Intel QSV, Nvidia CUDA/NVENC, etc.

Simple Steps to Convert Video to iPhone Supported Formats

Free download, install and launch WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe on your Windows (10/11) PC (free download Mac version), and follow the step-by-step guide below to convert any movie video to iPhone compatible formats.

Step 1. Click "+ Video" button to load the source movie video. You can add several videos to batch convert.

Step 2. Select an output video format for iPhone: Output Profile --> Mac General Video --> MP4 Video/MOV Video/M4V Video. Or you can set iPhone device profiles as the output directly: Output Profile --> Device Profile --> Apple Device --> to iPhone Video --> iPhone (H264 or MPEG4).

Convert Video to iPhone Supported Video Formats

Step 3. Set a target folder to store the converted movie video files for iPhone 11/Pro/Max/XR/8 by clicking "Browse" button, and hit "RUN" to start converting any video to supported movie video formats for iPhone.

Note: WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is up to date with the latest technologies. It makes timely update to support the newest iPhone models. You can convert DVD to the new iPhone in one click without the need to know any obscure settings and then play movies on the OLED retina display freely.


Author - Kistent Waung

Kistent Waung twitter icon

Graduated from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, she employs herself in IT related content creation (since 2013) and happens to perfectly combine her major (computer & science) and her gusto (writing). She's seasoned at offering video audio conversion workarounds and always passionate about new trends, from hot HEVC, 4K to the new AV1 codec.

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