Apple Takes Early Step Towards iPhones With 'Above 12-Megapixel' Rear Cameras

Apple reportedly has booked production capacity for "above 12-megapixel" camera lens modules at a new factory being built by smartphone lens maker Largan Precision in Taichung, Taiwan, according to DigiTimes.


The report, citing "market rumors," claims Largan is the only supplier that can meet Apple's minimum yield rate. The new factory is reportedly designed to accommodate monthly production of 600 million lens modules.

Largan will allegedly start production in October 2017, suggesting the camera lens modules could be destined for future iPhone models released in 2018 or later, rather than the so-called iPhone 8 this fall.

It is widely rumored that the iPhone 8 will have a vertically-aligned dual-lens rear camera, with optical image stabilization for both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses, but no credible rumors have surfaced about its quality.

Apple improves its iPhone cameras each year, so an increased megapixel count of some kind is certainly still possible this year.

Apple's latest iPhone and iPad models, including the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, are all equipped with 12-megapixel rear-facing cameras and 7-megapixel front-facing cameras.

Keep in mind that megapixels don't always matter, as even a TV or monitor with 4K Ultra HD resolution of 3,840×2,160 pixels only has roughly 8.3 megapixels, which isn't enough to display a 12-megapixel photo at full resolution.

Nevertheless, if this rumor is accurate, then perhaps we'll see an iPhone with a 16- or 18-megapixel rear camera or higher in the future.

Top Rated Comments

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38 months ago
More dynamic range and a much improved low light and high ISO would be my preference. Those are areas in which the iPhone is absolutely lacking compared to cameras with larger sensors and for sure more pixels don‘t help in this regard, quite the opposite.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago

A 18-megaxiel camera is going to be awesome, specially with a wider aperture. Morepixels produce better low light photos and the more pixels you capture, the more you can crop out.

More pixels at the same sensor size tends to produce worse low light photos
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago

The iPhone Edition BETTER have a much better camera than the iPhone 7
I mean a $1000+ should

What does it have to do with this?

My Canon G16 has 12MPx and its a much better camera that any smartphone on earth so this is kind of a non sequitur.
If they can keep the noise down in such small pixels that's OK, otherwise its useless. Getting more Mpx of noise is not giving you more actual info.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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38 months ago
The iPhone Edition BETTER have a much better camera than the iPhone 7
I mean a $1000+ should
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
More pixels -> smaller pixel -> less light -> lower voltage -> more noise -> worse images.

Also the relative low quality of minuscule lenses puts a limit on the sensor resolution.

Ways to lower noise:
1. More light -> slower shutter speed or wider aperture.
2. Backlit sensor -> chip structures no longer obscuring light path.
3. Binning -> combining pixels either on-chip, in readout electronics, or in software.
4. Cooling -> could be done with a Peltier element.

1 and 2 are already done.
3 could be an option to get lower noise low-light images, but it reduces the final pixel count.
4 Would be 'cool' to have a tiny Peltier element in our iPhone. But because you'd need a vacuum sensor chamber to prevent moist buildup, this is rather impractical.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
Doesn't 600 Million lens modules per MONTH seem a little excessive considering the amount of iPhones sold? This is still a massive amount if iPads are included.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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