Apple could release its first periscope-lens iPhone this year with the new iPhone 15 family, but a new information point now to what will only be limited to the high-end iPhone 15 Pro Max.
A periscopic lens is one that relies on a prism to reflect light to multiple internal lenses located 90 degrees from the camera sensor. What this means is that the length of the lens can be much greater than that of a traditional telephoto lens, which in turn means that they can offer far superior optical zoom capabilities.
Both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have a telephoto lens that offers a 3x optical zoom. However, Samsung already incorporates a periscope lens in its flagship Galaxy S22 Ultra, which offers a 10x optical zoom.
This year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to be the first iPhone to switch to a periscope lens.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s implementation of this technology will include a 1/3″ sensor with 12 megapixel resolution with f/2.8 aperture, sensor-shift stabilization and up to 6x optical zoom.
Rumors initially indicated that while the periscope lens was exclusive to the higher-end iPhone 15 model this year, Apple would extend it to the smaller “Pro” phone in 2024. Now, that no longer seems to be the case.
There are two reasons why Apple may have made this decision. It could be that the company sees the periscope lens as a way to differentiate the iPhone 16 Pro Max from the iPhone 16 Pro, giving people a reason to spend more on the higher-end model. Another possibility is that it is a technical or engineering limitation.