Apple is poised to take smartphone photography to new heights with the introduction of a periscope camera system on the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro Max, according to revered Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In a research note obtained on Tuesday, Kuo predicts that the top-of-the-line iPhone 15 model set to debut next year will be equipped with a periscope lens, enabling drastically improved optical zoom capabilities compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
A periscope design allows for increased optical zoom by using a prism to refract light entering the lens by 90 degrees. This allows the lens array to occupy more horizontal space than a traditional telephoto lens mounted perpendicular to the phone. Kuo expects Apple to implement a folded lens system from Sunny Optical to optimize image quality at longer focal lengths.
Android phones from the likes of Samsung, Huawei, and Oppo have incorporated periscope cameras for up to 10x hybrid zoom, but Apple has notably held off on adopting the burgeoning technology until now. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is currently capped at 3x optical zoom.
By adopting a periscope lens, Kuo anticipates that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will offer 5x to 10x optical zoom, affording users much more flexibility when framing shots from a distance. This could provide a particular advantage when capturing subjects like wildlife, sporting events, or concerts from the audience.
The analyst predicts strong demand for the periscope-equipped iPhone 15 Pro Max, accounting for 25-30% of total iPhone sales in 2023. This would represent a significant increase from the estimated 20-25% share held by the iPhone 14 Pro Max this year.
Beyond the marquee periscope camera, the iPhone 15 lineup is rumored to do away with the display notch in favor of a punch-hole selfie camera. An under-display Touch ID sensor may also make a return after a years-long absence. As always, Apple’s latest and greatest mobile chip is expected to power the iPhone 15 models when they arrive in September 2023.
With rival Android flagships consistently pushing the boundaries of smartphone photography, Apple appears ready to reclaim the crown in 2023 with extraordinarily zoomed-in shots that only a periscope lens can deliver. The iPhone 15 Pro Max may well become the undisputed choice for smartphone photography enthusiasts when it hits the market.