Apple Lining Up Periscope Telephoto Lens Suppliers for 2022 iPhone
Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo today released a new report detailing his research on which lens suppliers will begin providing parts for Apple in the coming years.
We predict that Semco, the best Korean lens supplier, and Sunny Optical, the best Chinese lens supplier, will enter the Apple lens supply chain in 2H20 and 2021, respectively.
The new suppliers are said to hurt the revenue of Genius Electronic Optical, which presently provides lenses for Apple.
While the ins and outs of which suppliers source Apple's parts may not be of great interest to consumers, Kuo references another shift that will be of interest to iPhone buyers. Kuo believes that Semco will be providing a large percentage of new periscope telephoto lenses to Apple for the 2022 iPhone.
Kuo previously reported on Apple's design plans for periscope lenses in conjunction with Taiwanese supplier Genius Electronic Optical, though it seems those plans may have changed.
Periscope lenses have already seen their way into some smartphones and provide manufacturers a way to provide much higher optical zoom in a smartphone-sized package. Huawei, for example, ships the P30 Pro which offers a 5x true optical zoom using a similar mechanism. A 10x optical zoom phone is reportedly also in the works from Huawei.
Apple has filed patents related to periscope lenses as recently as 2016. According to the description included in the patent, light would be channeled into the camera through a primary lens, bounced off of the included mirror in the smartphone, and then would be sent to a secondary lens that moves up and down for the purpose of zooming in. Apple describes it as a "folded telephoto camera lens system".