The iPhone could have three rear cameras by 2019

The rumor is, it will come out in 2019.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read
Josh Miller/CNET

The Huawei P20 Pro may have been the first phone to get three cameras on the back, but an iPhone could soon join it.

Enlarge Image

Dual lenses on the iPhone X.

Josh Miller/CNET

Apple is reportedly working on an iPhone with three rear cameras for 2019, according to Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News (via MacRumors). Citing industry sources, the report claims that the next iPhone will include a trio of 12-megapixel rear lenses.

It's that third lens that could help achieve this rumored iPhone's 5x zoom.

While Apple isn't always first to introduce new features, the world's second-largest phonemaker has tremendous influence setting trends in the smartphone industry. An iPhone with three cameras would no doubt trigger a flood of triple-camera phones.

The iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus come with dual 12-megapixel rear cameras, 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom, though the report doesn't specify whether this upcoming iPhone's supposed 5x zoom refers to optical zoom, digital zoom or a hybrid of both.

(The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and ZenFone AR have three rear cameras also, but for AR, not for photography. An infrared lens measured depth and distance, joined by a motion tracking sensor.)

Watch this: Huawei P20 Pro is the first phone with 3 rear cameras

Keep in mind, however, that a phone's ability to capture images and record video doesn't just come down to its lens count and megapixels. Image rendering software, lens sensors, HDR algorithms, optical image stabilization and other factors are all important for how a phone's camera performs, and not just how it reads on paper. For more on which phones take the best photos, check out our best camera phones for 2018.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

This article was originally published at 11:02am PT.

Corrected at 2:47pm PT: An earlier version of this story referred to the Light L16, which is a camera, not a phone. That reference was deleted.   

Shot on iPhone X: Apple's latest camera hits the streets

See all photos