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

(View all)
Avatar
41 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
41 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
41 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)
Avatar
41 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
41 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
41 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)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

Images of Supposed AirPods Diagnosis Tool Shared Online

Thursday October 22, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly rolling out a new tool to Apple service providers for testing AirPods, according to leaker known as "Fudge," who shared images of the tool on Twitter. Apple appears to be seeking to reduce unnecessary AirPods services by more accurately diagnosing the cause of a fault. Instances of a dirt-blockage, which may be difficult to ascertain visually, can apparently be...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...