iPhone could get periscope telephoto camera in 2022, analyst predicts

The improved range and depth of such a lens would bring iPhone cameras into competition with Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra and Huawei's P40 Pro Plus.

Rae Hodge Former senior editor
Rae Hodge was a senior editor at CNET. She led CNET's coverage of privacy and cybersecurity tools from July 2019 to January 2023. As a data-driven investigative journalist on the software and services team, she reviewed VPNs, password managers, antivirus software, anti-surveillance methods and ethics in tech. Prior to joining CNET in 2019, Rae spent nearly a decade covering politics and protests for the AP, NPR, the BBC and other local and international outlets.
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Apple is apparently trying to add a new feature to its phone cameras.

Angela Lang/CNET

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.

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