Apple Moving Forward With Plans for 'Folded' Periscope Cameras to Significantly Increase iPhone's Optical Zoom

Apple is advancing its plans to significantly enhance the iPhone's optical zoom range using periscope lens technology, according to ETNews.

periscope iPhone feature2

Citing industry sources familiar with the development of ‌iPhone‌ cameras, ETNews says Apple is currently seeking an appropriate "folded" periscope camera solution for the ‌iPhone‌ and has already initiated discussions with suppliers. Apple has filed patents related to periscope lens systems since 2014.

Apple has reportedly encountered issues developing its own periscope camera system due to much of the technology involved being guarded by other patents, leading the company to explore purchasing it directly from patent-holders instead. Specifically, "ball-type actuator" technology is purported to be essential to most periscope camera designs, but Samsung Electronics now owns this technology.

Many multi-camera and periscope camera patents were held by Israel-based company Corephotonics, including the ball-type actuator design, but it was acquired by Samsung in 2019. As a result, Samsung is said now to possess the key patents related to periscope cameras. Samsung's periscope camera technology has allowed it to implement it in devices such as the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

A Digitimes report seen by The Next Web has also corroborated this, stating that Apple is looking to improve the zoom capabilities of its next iPhones with a periscope camera system. The report speculates that Apple is looking to Samsung to provide a periscope lens system for future iPhones, rather than develop it in-house.

Industry insiders speaking to ETNews have cast doubt over the chances of a partnership between Apple and Samsung Electronics or Samsung Electro-Mechanics in this area. Some believe that Samsung will refuse to supply Apple with periscope cameras in order to maintain a competitive advantage with its range of Galaxy smartphones.

Alongside his correct prediction that the iPhone 12 Pro Max would have sensor-shift stabilization technology, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier this year that at least one ‌iPhone‌ model will feature a periscope telephoto lens in 2022.

However, Kuo has not attributed this to Samsung, instead predicting that Semco and Sunny Optical will supply the components.

Periscope lenses provide a much higher optical zoom range in a smartphone-sized package. Optical zoom is determined by the distance between a lens and an image sensor, but there is a limit to how much optical zoom range can be increased with the current vertically-stacked camera module structure because it would eventually increase the device's thickness. A periscope lens system allows a longer stack of lenses to be placed horizontally, before reflecting light using a mirror to face in the correct direction, all without increasing the device's thickness.

The camera technology has already made its way into some smartphones. Huawei, for example, ships the P30 Pro with a 5x true optical zoom using a similar mechanism. The ‌iPhone 12 Pro Max‌ currently offers the best optical zoom on an ‌iPhone‌, with the device being able to zoom in 2.5 times.

Related Roundup: iPhone 13
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Bornee35 Avatar
45 months ago

The image posted with the article is silly and misleading.
I'll be thoroughly upset if it doesn't look like that.
Score: 85 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baymowe335 Avatar
45 months ago
The image posted with the article is silly and misleading.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JM Avatar
45 months ago
Whoever does your graphics needs a raise ?
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kylew1212 Avatar
45 months ago
I came here just for the comments..
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PhillyGuy72 Avatar
45 months ago
I'm going to attach the toy periscope I had when I was 7, 8 years old to my phone. It's probably in a box up in the attic. (Almost looks like this...nice slick Pacific Blue model ?)




Attachment Image
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
45 months ago
Now that's a truly awful image with which to illustrate the concept. It will just prompt inane comments, or reasons why Apple shouldn't be doing this kind of thing.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

iMessage Down for Some Users [Update: Service Restored]

Thursday May 16, 2024 3:00 pm PDT by
The iMessage service that Apple users to send messages to one another appears to be down for some users, and messages are failing to go out or are taking an extra long time to send. There are numerous reports about the issue on social networks and a spike of outage reports on Down Detector, but Apple's System Status page is not yet reporting an outage. Update: Apple's status page says...
iOS 17

Troubling iOS 17.5 Bug Reportedly Resurfacing Old Deleted Photos

Wednesday May 15, 2024 5:29 am PDT by
There are concerning reports on Reddit that Apple's latest iOS 17.5 update has introduced a bug that causes old photos that were deleted – in some cases years ago – to reappear in users' photo libraries. After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other...
iphone 15 pro max vs iphone 16 pro max

iPhone 16 Pro Max Looks This Much Bigger Beside iPhone 15 Pro Max

Thursday May 16, 2024 4:51 am PDT by
This year's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to get a boost in overall size from 6.7-inches to 6.9-inches, and a new image gives us a good idea of how the current iPhone 15 Pro Max compares to what could be Apple's largest ever iPhone. The image above, posted on X by ZONEofTECH, shows a dummy model representing the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max alongside an actual iPhone 15 Pro Max. Dummy...
iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
oled m4 ipad pro grainy display reports

OLED iPad Pro Users Report 'Grainy' Displays, But It May Not Be a Defect

Friday May 17, 2024 5:57 am PDT by
Some new M4 iPad Pro models are exhibiting a visible static grain pattern across the OLED display, according to several user reports on Reddit (1, 2, 3) and the MacRumors Forums. Image credit: MacRumors user bk215 Users who see the grain generally report that it is most noticeable in dark environments with the display set at a low to medium brightness while viewing content with gray or muted...
Delta Hands On Feature

iPhone Emulators on the App Store: Game Boy, N64, PS1, PSP, and More

Thursday May 16, 2024 12:45 pm PDT by
In April, Apple updated its guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store, and several popular emulators have already been released. The emulators released so far allow iPhone users to play games released for older consoles from Nintendo, Sony, SEGA, Atari, and others. A list of some popular emulators available on the App Store so far follows. Released Delta Delta is...