Apple could launch a new iPhone in 2022 with a big camera feature that rivals like the Galaxy S20 Ultra already have (AAPL)

  • Apple’s 2022 iPhone could come with a different type of camera lens that’s generally better-equipped for taking zoomed photos, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • This periscope-style lens is already available on smartphones from Samsung and Huawei.
  • Cameras have become one of the biggest ways in which smartphone makers differentiate their products from those of competitors.
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Apple hasn’t even launched its much-rumored iPhone 12 yet, but reports are already starting to paint a picture of what to expect two years ahead in 2022. One well-known Apple analyst suggests the company’s 2022 iPhone may have a different type of camera lens that would make it much better at taking zoomed photos.

Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with TF International Securities known for his predictions about unreleased Apple products, said in a new report that the 2022 iPhone will likely have a periscope lens. Kuo’s research was reported by 9to5Mac, Apple Insider, and MacRumors

It’s not the first time Kuo has mentioned that Apple may be planning to outfit its future iPhone with a periscope lens; the analyst issued a similar report back in March.

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. 

A periscope lens uses a mirror to help it achieve a closer optical zoom, which would ultimately result it crisper zoomed images compared to digital zoom. Phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Huawei P30 Pro already use periscope lenses for zooming. Samsung’s phone, for example, provides a 10x optical zoom, while Huawei’s offers a 5X optical zoom. The iPhone 11 Pro, by comparison, only supports a 2x optical zoom.

It could be a critical addition for Apple as cameras have become one of the biggest ways in which companies differentiate their devices from competitors. And data shows that camera quality plays a role in the buying decision when purchasing a new smartphone. Data from Global Web Index published in 2019 listed “more camera and video capabilities” among the top five most desired smartphone features based on its survey of internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 in the United States and United Kingdom. 

Both Samsung and Apple flaunted their respective phones’ cameras as major selling points when announcing the Galaxy S20 Ultra and iPhone 11 Pro. The S20 Ultra can zoom in at up to 100x digitally (although doing so may result in blurry photos), while the iPhone 11 Pro is Apple’s first smartphone to come with a triple lens camera.

As for this year’s iPhone, Apple is expected to add a depth sensor to the iPhone 12’s camera system much like the one found on the company’s latest iPad Pro. Kuo’s note also mentioned that the iPhone 12 may have better autofocus capabilities.

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