iPhone 15 Pro Max to Feature Rearranged Camera Layout to Accommodate Periscope Lens

Apple is set to rearrange the layout of the rear triple-lens camera system on the iPhone 15 Pro Max to accommodate the new periscope camera technology that will be exclusive to the larger handset.

iphone 14 pro cameras

iPhone 14 Pro camera layout. Arrows indicate swapped lens positions on iPhone 15 Pro Max.

This year, a periscope lens system will be used for the telephoto camera in the iPhone 15 Pro Max for the first time, allowing for 5x or 6x optical zoom. Comparatively, the iPhone 14 Pro Max offers 3x optical zoom, which is expected to be retained for the smaller iPhone 15 Pro.

Apple is likely limiting the periscope technology to the iPhone 15 Pro Max because of the internal space needed for the advanced hardware, but even with the available extra space in the Pro Max model, Apple has had to reorganize the formation of the camera module purely out of necessity.

When the current iPhone 14 Pro Max is held in landscape orientation with the Side button at the top (as per the above image) the Telephoto lens is closest to the top corner of the device, while the Ultra Wide lens sits below between the flash and LiDAR sensor.

In comparison, the Ultra Wide lens on the iPhone 15 Pro Max will move to the corner position in the array, while the Telephoto will take its place between the flash and LiDAR. This will provide Apple with more internal space to fit in the complex folded optics in the periscope system.

A periscope lens system generally uses a primary lens to capture a photo, with an angled mirror or prism reflecting the light 90 degrees toward a second lens that then sends it to the image sensor. The image sensor and secondary lens are positioned sideways inside the smartphone to extend focal length, and that takes up valuable surface area.

Because of the way light is reflected at an angle in this system, the actual telephoto lens will likely need to be square-shaped, a departure from the circular telephoto lens used for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Granted, the camera cutout will still be circular, but the actual lens inside will be square.

In that sense, compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, from the outside the next-generation model will look as though nothing has changed in the lens array, but under hood, the hardware layout will be significantly different.

The notable tidbit was revealed by researcher Unknownz21, who yesterday confirmed that next year, both the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will get the periscope zoom camera technology, a change that was first revealed by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

The displays on the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max models are expected to be slightly bigger than previous generation models, and the larger internal space afforded by the new sizes is likely one of the reasons why Apple will be able to bring the periscope lens to both premium devices in 2024 for the first time.

Related Roundup: iPhone 15 Pro

Top Rated Comments

BvizioN Avatar
3 weeks ago
Not sure if EU agrees to this.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Leon Ze Professional Avatar
3 weeks ago
Dang, this camera layout resembles my first electric shaver when I was a teen, especially in portrait mode.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sunapple Avatar
3 weeks ago
Camera surface area has been growing steadily, at some point the square won't fit especially combined with MagSafe. I'm thinking a vizor design like the Pixel line (or a huge version of iPhone X / 7 Plus).

Attachment Image
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Red Oak Avatar
3 weeks ago
Sorry, I’m going to keep rock’in my 8 year iPhone X

What, it won’t run iOS 17?!!! WTF is wrong with this money-grubbing company. Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs. Last innovation for this company was the iPod. And their AR product is going to suck because I think it will

I have lot of experience in gaming (hAVE my own Twitch channel), so know a few things
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
User 6502 Avatar
3 weeks ago

Apple is likely limiting the periscope technology to the iPhone 15 Pro Max because of the internal space needed for the advanced hardware
That’s such a naive statement. Apple is limiting this feature to the pro Max just because it is greedy and wants to segment the market pushing people to more expensive models. Nothing to do with technical reasons.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Candy Apple+ Nutz Avatar
3 weeks ago
Would’ve anyone cared or realized this otherwise. If it works, who cares which lenses are where?

I’ll still end up finding a way to block one of them with a finger anyway.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)