Kuo: No Significant Upgrades to Main iPhone Camera Lens Through at Least 2022 [Updated]

iPhone camera lenses may not see significant hardware updates through at least 2022, according to a new research note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors.

iphone12protriplelenscamera
Today's note focuses on a new price war between lens suppliers Largan and Genius Electronic Optical that will affect profitability for the suppliers, with Genius Electronic Optical at particular risk due to its high reliance on Apple combined with Largan's willingness to cut prices and Sunny Optical's upcoming entry into the high-end ‌iPhone‌ camera lens supply chain.

We predict that Largan will bargain the ASP of iPhone mid-to-high-end lenses by about 15-25% in 1H21 in order to increase its capacity utilization rate. Yujingguang's [Genius Electronic Optical's] order proportion, capacity utilization rate and gross profit margin will be directly affected. The impact of the price war will begin in January 2021, and Yujingguang's January revenue may only grow in single-digit YoY or even decline.

Kuo specifically predicts that there will be "no significant upgrade of the camera lens in 2022," indicating that challenges for Genius Electronic Optical could stretch for several years "unless the structural challenges of the lens industry are significantly improved or Yujingguang can significantly reduce its dependence on Apple orders."

Despite Kuo's prediction that there will not be significant hardware advancements for the camera lenses in ‌iPhone‌ models for 2021 and 2022, that doesn't necessarily mean there won't be improvements to overall camera performance. Apple also puts considerable effort into the software side of its camera capabilities, so we may still see new features and other tweaks due to improvements in both software and other elements of the camera hardware stack beyond the lenses.

Update: As noted by 9to5Mac, Kuo's comments may refer to only the main wide camera lens, as he has previously discussed upcoming updates for the ultrawide and telephoto lenses. Kuo's report is not entirely clear which lens or lenses he is referring to.

Related Roundup: iPhone 13
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 13 (Neutral)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
14 months ago

GREAT! this iPhone 12 Max was expensive. Tired of upgrades. Not much different from my iPhone 8 Plus. better camera. I'm happy where I'm at. 5G No Big deal.
if you're "tired of upgrades", you can simply stop buying new iPhones instead of wishing Apple to release more of the same phone as a new product every year.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
14 months ago

Good. Let them focus on ANYTHING but cameras FOR ONCE. I‘m tired of the camera focus every single event. The new iPhones should be more than „another lense!“ or „better camera!!!11“.

Stopped caring about updates to the camera like a decade ago.
When we venture out into the mountains or take a dog for a walk, capturing those moments is extremely important to us, and the improved photos from one generation to the next has made a world of difference in terms of the experience.

Not everyone needs a camera, but some people live through the lens, so it matters.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TimFL1 Avatar
14 months ago
Good. Let them focus on ANYTHING but cameras FOR ONCE. I‘m tired of the camera focus every single event. The new iPhones should be more than „another lense!“ or „better camera!!!11“.

Stopped caring about updates to the camera like a decade ago.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Freeangel1 Avatar
14 months ago
GREAT! this iPhone 12 Max was expensive. Tired of upgrades. Not much different from my iPhone 8 Plus. better camera. I'm happy where I'm at. 5G No Big deal.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Internet Enzyme Avatar
14 months ago

What kind of pictures are you guys taking that you need camera upgrades?

(Similar to the question: What are you guys using the phone for that you need 5G?)

:D
Technology is all about progress: expanding humanity's horizons and opening up new possibilities that were hitherto undreamt of, if you will. Just because you can't envision the benefits doesn't mean that it's not a worthy pursuit. The iPhone cameras are good, but there are many inconsistencies between the different sensors and focal lengths: in particular, the ultrawide is noticeably noisy and terrible in low light, and the telephoto should probably be a more extreme telephoto made possible through a periscope lens design.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H3LL5P4WN Avatar
14 months ago

GREAT! this iPhone 12 Max was expensive. Tired of upgrades. Not much different from my iPhone 8 Plus. better camera. I'm happy where I'm at. 5G No Big deal.
Sorry dude. My 12 Pro Max destroys my 11 Pro... which crushed my XS... which crushed my X, which was better than the 8 at launch. So I know that it craps all over the 8.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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