Apple Shuffles Suppliers for Periscope Telephoto Lens in 2023 iPhones
Apple hopes to circumvent Samsung in the supply of components for a "folded" telephoto lens for 2023 iPhones, according to unnamed sources cited by Korean website The Elec.
The report claims Apple has approached Jahwa Electronics, which is part of Samsung's supply chain, to supply an optical image stabilization module for the camera. Jahwa co-developed the technology with Samsung, which could cause Apple patent problems down the line. However, Apple likely has its own workaround for the patents or will end up paying a licensing fee to Samsung, according to the report.
The Elec links these latest developments to iPhone models for release in 2023, but the outlet has previously claimed that Apple may use components made by Samsung for a "folded" telephoto lens on at least some iPhone models in 2022.
Samsung's Electro-Mechanics subsidiary will reportedly supply components such as actuators and lenses to LG, which in turn will use the components to manufacture the folded camera module to supply to Apple. This move would supposedly prevent Apple from hurting its relationship with LG, and address issues related to patents.
The possibility of a folded or "periscope" lens on 2022 iPhones was first mentioned by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in March last year, and there have been several rumors since. The technology would allow for significantly increased optical zoom on iPhones, well beyond the current 2x and 2.5x limits on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, respectively. Huawei's P40 Pro+ smartphone, for example, features a periscope lens with up to 10x optical zoom.
With folded camera optics, light absorbed by the image sensor is bent or "folded," allowing for increased optical zoom and improved image quality while maintaining a compact lens design appropriate for smartphones. For a more detailed explanation of what a periscope lens is and when Apple will adopt one in its iPhones, check out our dedicated guide.