Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says in a research note that iPhones will likely get a periscope-style telephoto camera lens in 2022 if lens suppliers Semco and Sunny Optical join the Apple supply chain this year, according to reports from MacRumors and 9-to-5 Mac. This means that a much better camera could be coming to iPhones, with lenses similar to those used in some Huawei phones today.
The design differences would likely be minimal, since periscope-style telephoto lenses don't extend out from the body of a phone, but rather within it, according to the reports. Apple previously adopted 2x telephoto lenses in its 2016 iPhone 7 Plus, but a shift to periscope-style lenses could bring that zoom power up to 5x or more. The improved range and depth of the lens would bring its cameras into competition with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and Huawei P40 Pro Plus, both of which have cameras with up to 10x zoom.
Kuo said he believes the new lenses will be featured in the iPhone 12 in 2022.
Apple didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.