Apple would release iPhone models with a periscopic telephoto lens from 2022. That is what the usually well-entered analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims. Periscopic lenses allow greater ‘zoom’ range and are already included in many high-end Android smartphones.
According to a new report from Kuo, which has been seen by 9to5mac and MacRumors, South Korean company Semco will supply the periscopic lens for future iPhones. Further details about the specifications of the lens are not yet known.
Apple currently uses traditional lenses in its smartphones, the telephoto lens in the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a focal length of 6mm. In combination with the sensor used, this provides the same perspective as a 52mm lens on a full-frame camera. That is about 2x ‘zoom’ compared to the primary camera.
With a periscopic telephoto lens, the lens is placed at right angles to the viewing direction in the device and mirrors are used to let the light fall on the sensor. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has such a lens and the focal length is 19mm, or 103mm in full-frame equivalent. That corresponds to 5x ‘zoom’ compared to the primary camera. Such a focal length is only possible when using a periscopic construction. Oppo and Huawei were the first manufacturers to use such a periscopic telephoto lens.
Kuo states that Semco will supply the autofocus motor for the iPhone 12 models released this year. It would be a variant that is faster than the focus motors that Apple has used so far in its iPhones.