Analyst Kuo: Apple will use periscopic telephoto lens in iPhones from 2022

Apple would release iPhone models with a periscopic telephoto lens from 2022. That claims the usually well-informed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Periscopic lenses allow for a wider ‘zoom’ range and are already included in many high-end Android smartphones.

According to a new report from Kuo, which has been seen by 9to5mac and MacRumors, South Korean company Semco will supply the periscopic lens for future iPhones. Further details about the specifications of the lens are not yet known.

Currently, Apple uses traditional lenses in its smartphones; the telephoto lens in the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a focal length of 6mm. In combination with the sensor used, this provides the same perspective as a 52mm lens on a full-frame camera. That’s about 2x ‘zoom’ compared to the primary camera.

With a periscopic telephoto lens, the lens is placed in the device perpendicular to the viewing direction and mirrors are used to direct the light onto the sensor. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, for example, has such a lens and the focal length is 19mm, or 103mm in full-frame equivalent. That corresponds to 5x ‘zoom’ compared to the primary camera. Such a focal length is only possible when using a periscopic construction. Oppo and Huawei were the first manufacturers to use such a periscopic telephoto lens.

Kuo states that Semco will provide the autofocus motor for the iPhone 12 models released this year. It would be a variant that is faster than the focus motors that Apple has used in its iPhones so far.

Periscopic telephoto lens in the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra