Some serious improvements are likely coming to the iPhone cameras, specifically in the optical zoom department – but the tech won’t be ready in time for the iPhone 13 later this year, according to a new report.
In July, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the iPhone would receive a periscope-type lens in 2022. A later report in November later confirmed this rumor.
Now, a third report from The Elec confirms that periscope-type technology is what will allow Apple to bring optical zoom with up to 10x magnification to the iPhone cameras of 2022.
In the July report, Kuo did not share many details beyond that Apple will use Samsung Electro-Mechanics (SEMCO) as a supplier to supply lenses of this type.
Today’s report reiterates that Apple is studying the use of SEMCO periscope lenses in future iPhones that could offer up to 10x optical zoom. However, we will not see this type of camera until 2022-2023 , so there is still a long wait ahead.
Apple can technically secure folded zoom modules directly from Samsung Electro-Mechanics. However, this may hurt its relationship with LG InnoTek, its long-time supplier of high-end camera modules.
Samsung Electronics will also unlikely allow Samsung Electro-Mechanics to supply the modules directly to Apple. Some of the patents related to actuators and other components are also co-owned by Samsung Electronics, Jahwa Electronics and other suppliers.
Apple can bypass these issues such as patents by having LG InnoTek secure the components from Samsung Electro-Mechanics.
Samsung, Huawei and Oppo have already applied this technology to their flagship smartphones. Samsung Electro-Mechanics supplied the periscope-type zoom module to the Galaxy S20 Ultra.