Apple may be planning a massive camera upgrade for the iPhone next year.
A new report from supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF Securities (via MacRumors) says that Apple plans to make a huge upgrade to the iPhone camera in 2022 and that the iPhone 13 could be the last lineup to feature a “mini” iPhone.
According to Kuo, next year’s iPhone, possibly called the iPhone 14, will make a significant leap in camera quality with at least the two iPhones from the Pro range able to record videos in 8K resolution.
Apple will not only focus on video quality in the coming iPhones — next year’s iPhone will have new DSLR-quality image sensors installed, according to Kuo:
In terms of pixel size, the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and new 2H22 iPhone are about 1.7um, 2um, and 1.25um, respectively. We believe that the new 2H22 iPhone may support direct 48MP output and 12MP (four cells merge output mode) output simultaneously. With 12MP output, the CIS pixel size of the new 2H22 iPhone increases to about 2.5um, which is significantly larger than the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, and larger than existing Android phones, and close to the DSC level. We believe that the camera quality of the new 2H22 iPhone will elevate mobile phone camera photography to a new level.
This will lead to a better user experience on the corresponding 8K screens, but it will also inspire AR/VR applications. In the AR/VR area, videos and images require 8K, with 16K being even better, so iPhones will provide significantly more image data for such apps in 2022.
Kuo also says that in 2023 Apple may adopt a periscope telephoto lens as well as under-screen Face ID, possibly signaling an end to the notch on the front of the iPhone.
Apple’s iPhone 13, expected later this year will likely follow the same model lineup as the iPhone 12, and is expected to be more of a 12S tweak. If Kuo’s prediction about next year is correct, it sounds like iPhone 14 could be a bigger change.
The mini has reportedly not sold to Apple’s expectations, with the company said to have overestimated demand and cut production orders.