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Only the most expensive iPhone 15 will get a new periscope camera

Apple is expected to upgrade the iPhone’s camera system with a fancy new periscope lens, according to a new report. However, this update will be exclusive to the company’s flagship device of 2023, the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The news comes from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo had previously claimed that the technology would be available on all the Pro models, with the recent clarification limiting it to the ‘Max’ model.

Android phones have been leveraging the capabilities of the periscope camera for some time now. The Huawei P30 Pro was the first device to introduce the tech in 2019. If you are unaware, a periscope lens offers better zoom capabilities than a typical telephoto lens. Thus multiple phone manufacturers have started opting for this tech. Apple is one such manufacturer that plans to improve its zoom capabilities by utilizing this tech. You’ll see it more on Android phones than iPhones though. The current-gen iPhone 13 Pro models are capable of 3x optical zoom and 15x digital zoom. On the other hand, backed by periscope lenses, Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra offers 10x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom while Vivo’s X80 Pro has 5x optical zoom and 60x digital zoom.

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According to Kuo, the 1/3-inch sensor on the iPhone 15 Pro Max will have a 12-megapixel resolution, F/2.8 aperture, and 6x optical zoom. While the iPhone 15 Pro will continue to use the telephoto lens for optical zoom. Kuo adds that iPhone 16 Pro will get a periscope lens. Thus you will have to wait until 2024 to get a smaller iPhone with the camera tech.

As for why the smaller phone has to wait, it’s probably a matter of space. Telephoto lenses are typically used in large phones. The S22 Ultra and Vivo X80? Both are iPhone Pro Max-sized. It would not be the first time Apple’s largest iPhones got better cameras due to simply having more space in which to stash these components. The iPhone 7 and 8 Plus were the only iPhones to sport dual cameras in their day, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max had a larger main camera and a better zoom camera than the equivalent 12 Pro. It’s capitalism, yes, but it’s also physics.

As for what’s coming with the iPhone 14, Apple is expected to improve the ultra-wide and telephoto lens on the 14 Pro models. As per Kuo, the phones will ship with a 48-megapixel ultra-wide lens instead of a 12-megapixel camera. Plus, the telephoto camera will get an upgraded seven-element lens.

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