For some years now, the iPhone has featured a telephoto camera with a 2x optical zoom; Apple has held back from taking the step to greater zoom levels. Meanwhile, several Android manufacturers have started using so-called periscope lenses that refract light 90 degrees into the phone's interior, an approach that allows greater zoom without making the camera module thicker.
There have been reports in the past that Apple is also looking at such a solution, and now analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writes to investors (via MacRumors) with news on that front. He predicts that Apple will buy optics from Korean Semco and Chinese Sunny Optical, and the former company will provide Apple with periscope lenses for placement in 2022's new iPhone.
That's still a long way off, of course. We don't anticipate any changes to the optical zoom capabilities in the iPhone 12 later this year, although it is expected to see the inclusion of a new LiDAR scanner module.
For an idea of how much of an improvement we could see from a periscope lens, Huawei currently has phones with 5x optical zoom and is rumoured to be working on models with 10x.
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.