Kuo: 2023 iPhones to Feature 'Periscopic' Telephoto Lens

Apple's iPhones will adopt a "periscopic telephoto lens" in 2023, according to a research note shared this evening by well-respected TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

iphone12protriplelenscamera
Kuo did not elaborate, but we've heard several prior rumors about Apple's work on a periscope lens, which would allow for significant improvements in optical zoom capabilities. Kuo previously said that he expected Apple to adopt a periscope lens in 2022 iPhone models, but it appears he now believes that won't happen until 2023.

Existing smartphones have already adopted periscope lens technology. Huawei's P30 Pro allows for 5x optical zoom, and an ‌iPhone‌ with a periscope lens could have similar capabilities. Current iPhones max out at 2.5x optical zoom and 12x digital zoom, but better zoom capabilities could let Apple's iPhones compete with smartphones that have focused on zoom functionality. Samsung's latest smartphones, for example, have a 100x zoom feature that Apple 's current iPhones can't match.

In addition to the prediction about periscopic lens technology coming in 2023, Kuo shared details on both the 2021 and 2022 iPhones.

For the 2021 iPhones, Kuo believes that Apple will adopt a new Face ID transmitter that's made from a plastic material instead of glass, which is now possible thanks to improved coating technologies. It's not clear if this will have end-user benefits for ‌iPhone‌ owners or if it will simply mean a reduction in production cost for Apple.

In the past, it was widely believed that the reason the Tx lens had to adopt glass material was to avoid distortion due to the heat generated by VCSEL operation. Our latest survey indicates that the Face ID TX lens for the new 2H21 iPhone will be made of plastic instead of glass, thanks to improved coating technologies and that the Tx plastic lens suppliers are Largan and Genius, with Largan being the primary beneficiary of this material change due to its higher supply share.

High-end iPhones releasing in 2021 will also feature an upgraded ultra wide lens, with Apple upgrading from a 5-element lens to a 6-element lens, which Kuo says is made possible through "design and production advantages."

Kuo said that rear-facing camera improvements coming to high-end iPhones in 2022 will focus on the telephoto lens, with Apple upgrading from a 6-element lens to a 7-element lens for the iPhone 14.

‌iPhone‌ models coming in 2022 are also expected to adopt a new "unibody lens design," which Kuo says Apple will use to reduce the size of the front camera module.

To reduce the front camera module's size, we predict that the new iPhone will adopt a unibody lens design in 2H22 at the earliest. This design requires the lens and VCM [voice coil motor] to be assembled before shipping to CCM. Since Largan will start shipping iPhone VCM for new iPhones in 2H21, we believe that if Apple adopts the unibody lens design in the future, Largan, a new VCM supplier, can integrate lens design production advantages and benefit from this new trend.

Kuo previously said that he believes 2022 ‌iPhone‌ models will transition from a notch to a hole punch-style display that some Android smartphones have previously adopted. Apple is expected to use this design for high-end iPhones coming in 2022, but if production yields are high enough, all 2022 iPhones could use the same hole punch design.

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

Top Rated Comments

kitt9000 Avatar
27 weeks ago
I was on the fence on whether to upgrade to the 2023 iPhone from my yet to be purchased 2022 iphone, but this feature would seal the deal! ???
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goobot Avatar
27 weeks ago

I am one of those 90% plus people who either use the camera for snaps or zoom with my feet. In the past 20 years I have never been in a situation where mobile phone zoom would be able to solve a distance problem. There is a reason good zoom lenses for real digital camera's are big, it's not to show of, it's basic physics. So giving up space for a feature that will be getting okay results at best is a loss in my opinion. I would rather have a higher quality wide angle camera if you ask me.
I actually feel the opposite, I could care less about the ultrawide but love the zoom. Looking forward to improved zoom.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving Avatar
27 weeks ago
This is great stuff!!! Cannot wait!!!

Keep the reports coming Mr. Kuo. Also, waiting for the notch-less iPhone.



Attachment Image
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
X5-599 Avatar
27 weeks ago
Come on Apple, just develop a DSLR that runs on iOS already, It's pretty obvious you don't want to build phones anymore.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Burebista Avatar
27 weeks ago

I am one of those 90% plus people who either use the camera for snaps or zoom with my feet. In the past 20 years I have never been in a situation where mobile phone zoom would be able to solve a distance problem. There is a reason good zoom lenses for real digital camera's are big, it's not to show of, it's basic physics. So giving up space for a feature that will be getting okay results at best is a loss in my opinion. I would rather have a higher quality wide angle camera if you ask me.
I don't know what are you talking about, and especially how you determined being in the "90% plus". There's a great number of scenarios where a good optical zoom comes in handy because you simply physically can't zoom in with your feet. Be it landscape photography, street scenes, architectural details, wildlife - you name it. And yes, modern smartphone cameras are capable enough for all of those scenarios. Computational photography made it possible.

Periscope telephoto lens allows for 5-10x optical zoom that is always in your pocket, that is awesome tech. And personally, it's upsetting Apple is like 4 years behind with adopting it
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
27 weeks ago
Apple's delay of periscope seems to be related to cost rather than technical barriers. The P30 and P40 Pro show night mode and periscope lenses already work well.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple mixed reality headset mockup feature yellow

Kuo: Apple Aiming to Keep Mixed Reality Headset's Weight Under 150 Grams

Monday March 22, 2021 8:34 pm PDT by
Apple is planning to adopt a hybrid Fresnel lens design for its mixed reality headset, a move that will improve optical performance while allowing for a broad field of view and keeping the headset's weight under 150 grams (a third of a pound), according to a new report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo notes that most virtual reality headsets use Fresnel lenses, first invented ...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature2

iPhone 13 Rumor Recap: Smaller Notch, Larger Batteries, 120Hz for Pro Models, Improved 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and More

Friday March 5, 2021 8:20 am PST by
While we are likely at least six months away from Apple unveiling the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, rumors about the devices are starting to accumulate, so we've put together this recap of everything that is expected so far. The upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will consist of the same four models and the same screen sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo,...
iphone11procameradesign short trans

Apple Lining Up Periscope Telephoto Lens Suppliers for 2022 iPhone

Tuesday July 21, 2020 11:52 pm PDT by
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...
iphone12protriplelenscamera

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Nearly Identical Wide Camera Lens as iPhone 12

Wednesday March 31, 2021 1:33 am PDT by
According to credible Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 13 lineup, slated for launch in the second half of the year, will feature the same wide-angle lens as the current iPhone 12 series, offering no tangible improvements to one of the three lenses on the upcoming iPhone. In an investors note obtained by MacRumors, focused mainly on developments and changes within Apple's supply chain,...
maxresdefault

Samsung Pokes Fun at iPhone 12 Pro Max's Lack of 100x Digital Zoom in New Ad

Monday May 24, 2021 6:05 am PDT by
In a new ad, Samsung is poking fun at the iPhone 12 Pro Max's lack of 100x zoom compared to its flagship Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. In an ad posted late last week titled "Space Zoom," an iPhone 12 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra can be seen taking a photo of the moon in total darkness. The iPhone 12 Pro Max zooms in at its max 12x ability, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra gets a closer ...
iphone12proframe

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Come in Same Four Model Sizes As iPhone 12, Pro Models to Feature Major Upgrade to Ultra Wide Camera

Friday November 6, 2020 3:23 am PST by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research note, seen by MacRumors, that details his expectations for next year's iPhone lineup, tentatively dubbed "iPhone 13," including some positive shipment predictions based on a number of factors. According to Kuo, the iPhone 13 will come in the same four model sizes as this year's iPhone 12, but with some major...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

Kuo: Apple to Adopt Under Display Face ID Starting With 2023 iPhones

Wednesday April 14, 2021 12:21 am PDT by
Apple plans to include an under-display Face ID system starting with its 2023 iPhones, removing the need to house the facial recognition system in a notch, according to well-respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In an investors note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo says that the under-display Face ID system will debut alongside a new periscope telephoto lens in 2023. Kuo had previously stated that...
iphone 12 pro triple camera video

iPhone 13 Expected to Feature Upgraded Ultra Wide Camera With Significantly Improved Low-Light Performance

Tuesday February 2, 2021 8:51 am PST by
All four iPhone 13 models will feature an upgraded Ultra Wide camera lens with a wider ƒ/1.8 aperture, compared to ƒ/2.4 on iPhone 12 models, Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Thomas O'Malley said in an investor note shared with MacRumors. In an investor note with TF International Securities in November, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also claimed that the Ultra Wide lens will be upgraded to...
galaxy s21 iphone 12 pro max front feature2

Kuo: Some 2022 iPhones to Abandon Notch in Favor of 'Punch-Hole' Display

Monday March 1, 2021 8:05 am PST by
At least some 2022 iPhone models will abandon the notch and switch to a "punch-hole display design" instead, similar to Samsung's recent high-end Galaxy smartphones, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo said the hole-punch display design will be adopted by high-end 2022 iPhones at a minimum, and if production yields are good enough, all 2022 iPhone...
nomad june 2 image

Nomad Launches New iPhone 12 Case With Compatibility for Moment M-Series Lenses

Wednesday June 2, 2021 6:26 am PDT by
Nomad today launched a new case for the iPhone 12, called the "Rugged Case for Moment" and priced at $59.95. This accessory is compatible with Moment's M-Series lenses, like the Wide 18mm lens or Tele 58mm lens. The new Nomad case is compatible with Apple MagSafe and is made of Horween leather, available in Rustic Brown and Black. A Moment M-Series Lens is not included, but the case does...