Cameras figure to be a focus with this year’s iPhone 13 update, as Apple looks to leapfrog the advances Samsung has introduced with its Galaxy S21 models. One of the ways Apple may do that is by bolstering the ultrawide angle lens on its next phones to perform better in low light.
That’s the word from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who’s got a lengthy track record of accurate forecasts about Apple’s hardware plans. Kuo’s latest research note, spotted by MacRumors, suggests that Apple’s on track to bolster the ultrawide lenses in the iPhone 13 Pro models. That’s in line with a similar forecast Kuo made late last year.
Specifically, Kuo contends that iPad 5-element lens verification through China’s Sunny Optical has enabled Apple to learn enough from the processor to bolster the chances that some iPhone 13 models will get an improved wide angle lens later this year.
In fact, lens shipments could start as early as this quarter, which would leave Apple with about 15% of the parts it would need for whichever iPhone model it decides to pursue first, with production increases being carried out later on.
Kuo has said Apple will upgrade from the 5-element lens it uses as the ultrawide shooter on the iPhone 12 Pro models to a 6-element lens. (The more elements, the better the image quality, generally.)
The one part no one seems to agree on? Which iPhone 13 models will get the upgraded camera lens. Leaker Jon Prosser took to YouTube to tackle a series of iPhone 13 rumors, and he seems pretty confident that all iPhone 13 models would come with camera upgrades, but that all of them would be smaller, more incremental changes. Prosser believes the ultrawide lens alone would be changed, then given f/1.8 optics instead. He doesn’t, however, expect the iPhone 13 to have a periscope zoom lens; that might actually come to fruition with the iPhone 14 in 2022.
Earlier, a pair Barclays analysts claimed the iPhone 13’s ultrawide lens would feature an f/1.8 aperture instead of f/2.4. The report also contends the iPhone 13 Pro will adopt the same zoom lens as the iPhone 12 Pro Max for 65mm focal length and f/2.2 aperture, which offers a 2.5x optical zoom. That’s a smidge higher than the iPhone 12 Pro’s optical zoom.
Still, a lot of things remain up in the air about the iPhone 13, including whether it will even be called that or go by the iPhone 12s instead. In keeping with tradition, Apple has not been forthcoming about its plans for 2021, but if it does release a new phone, there’s a very real possibility it won’t be a complete overhaul, with more modest upgrades here and there to look forward to instead.