A new report from South Korea says Apple is now working with LG on a new kind of camera for the 2017 iPhone 8, and it could be a game changer.
According to the Korean Economic Daily, Apple and LG Innotek have “united forces” to develop a camera module that will support 3D photography. The next-generation 3D camera will combine LG Innotek’s technology with Apple’s own dual camera tech based on its LinX acquisition.
“Apple is now studying how to apply its 3D camera technology into LG Innotek’s smartphone camera,” said sources close to the matter. “Since LG Innotek also has its own 3D camera and related technologies, such joint efforts will likely to bear fruit sometime within next year.”
Apple acquired Israeli start-up LinX in April 2015 for US$20 million, absorbing the company’s 3D camera technology. LinX, founded in 2011, has developed technology to add more depth to photos by dividing the digital image into three separate stages.
The report notes that LG Innotek is currently the exclusive supplier of the iPhone 7 Plus’s dual lens camera. It also highlights the fact that LG Innotek has its own 3D camera technology which it used for the LG Optimus 3D smartphone back in 2011. That sounds a bit disconcerting, considering that LG hasn’t released any phones with 3D cameras since then.
On the other hand, Apple is expected to build on its dual-camera hardware going forward. 3D photography and video, as well as AR and VR features, are some possible camera innovations that Apple could potentially be thinking about for next year’s iPhone.