With about two months to go before Apple unveils the iPhone 14, rumor makers are already looking ahead to the iPhone 15. And it seems that the most anticipated new feature is exclusive to the most expensive model.
In a Medium post from Ming-Chi Kuo, the oft-accurate analyst confirms that the 2023 iPhone will introduce a periscope lens for the telephoto camera. A periscope lens uses an angled mirror to refract light onto the sensor to achieve a higher magnification without the need for a protruding lens. For example, the Galaxy S22 Ultra uses a periscope camera to achieve 100X “Space” zoom.
While Apple is unlikely to announce such a gimmick feature, a periscope lens will give the iPhone much higher zoom capabilities. Kuo says Apple’s periscope lens will have a similar f/2.8 12MP telephoto camera, sensor shift support and 5-6x optical zoom, compared to 3x optical zoom and optical image stabilization on the iPhone 13 Pro.
But no matter how high the zoom, Kuo reports that the only way you can get it in 2023 is to buy an iPhone 15 Pro Max (although the feature will expand to the smaller Pro iPhone next year). It wouldn’t be the first time Apple has differentiated its Pro iPhones based on camera features – the iPhone 12 Pro Max had a longer telephoto lens (2.5x versus 2x) and a larger sensor for the wide-angle camera – but the iPhone 13 Pro models have identical have cameras. The non-Pro models have never had a telephoto lens.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro models are expected to have a new 48MP wide-angle camera and a slightly improved telephoto camera. However, it looks like the biggest camera improvement will arrive next year – and you’ll have to pay a lot of money to get it.