Time flies and you may not even realize it, but we are only three months away from the iPhone 14 series expected to launch in September 2022.
Apple is gearing up for the launch of four iPhone 14 models, with the mini model being replaced by a Max-sized iPhone, while the other three versions remain intact.
Why is it surprising? Well, for starters, the camera on the iPhone is pretty good already, but we also hear constant news about Android phone makers switching to front cameras that are hidden under the screen, aka completely invisible, while Apple is just… doubling up. on a traditional front camera? “Boring!” I can almost hear the crowd screaming. And also not in line with the rest of the industry leading us into the future, right? Not only that, this new front camera is going to be the most expensive ever used on an iPhone!
Evolution of iPhone front camera
I completely forgot that the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s had a… pathetic 0.3MP front camera! VGA?! Times were different.
But that’s not even the worst: the iPhone 3GS and earlier models didn’t even have a front camera at all! Now it’s become such an essential smartphone element that it’s hard to imagine a phone didn’t even have a decade ago!
And as you can see, we’ve seen quite the evolution in those iPhone front cameras. We started with a mediocre 1.2MP selfie shooter on the iPhone 6 (720p video only) to the new 12MP front shooter used since the iPhone 11 (with nice 4K video).
So what now? 8K on the selfie camera? It’s possible, but that sounds like an overkill.
Why front cameras are important
At the same time, we need to realize that front cameras matter. There’s still the feeling of the past that front-facing cameras are just for vain selfies and you should almost feel guilty using them. But the reality is different: For a large number of people, front-facing cameras are essential.
Not only that, a front camera is of course essential for video conferencing, and we all know how important that is when you’re working from home.
Like it or not, the front camera is becoming more and more important and used more than ever, and it only makes sense that Apple is investing in improving it.
So what do we know about the new iPhone 14’s front-facing camera?
Apple is said to have selected the Korean company LG Innotek to supply the new camera along with Sharp from Japan. The reason for switching to a Korean manufacturer from previous Chinese suppliers is precisely because of that “high-end” classification and Apple’s demands for quality with that category.
Consistent with Cinematic Mode strategy
Not only that, but the new autofocus system is a perfect match for two features that Apple has made popular in smartphones and sees as its own favorites: portrait mode for photos and cinematic mode for videos.
The new autofocus system with a wider aperture creates a more pronounced “bokeh” effect and naturally enhances your portrait and cinematic shots just because of its physical properties.
And one thing we know about Apple is that it has been taking new features for a long time, gradually improving them generation after generation, and this is a major improvement towards making two features that Apple has brought into the mainstream like portrait and cinematic modes .
Under Display (UD) front cameras
Last but not least, we have to mention the UD front cameras. With a camera below the screen, it’s hidden so you have a true edge-to-edge screen with no interruptions. It’s a lucrative prospect.
You know what else is in common between the Z Fold 3 and the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra? Yes, the compromises they both make in terms of the quality of those cameras, but also that they’re both niche devices that will be sold in small numbers. Imagine if Apple has to sell tens of millions of iPhones with this new technology that is rough around the edges. Yes, Apple is and will be late to the party, but that’s one of the shortcomings when you have such massive scale.
We’re sure Apple is investigating under-image cameras, but its reluctance to experiment with them tells us even more.
It tells us that Apple will not bet its most popular product, which sells in tens of millions of units, on an unproven, experimental technology. It’s just how things are when you’re at that scale.
But it also tells us that Apple won’t overlook any part, not even something that is “good enough” by many standards. Investing three times more in a better front camera isn’t something users just asked for from the company, but it does. Perfecting every part rather than jumping on the hype train of every new technology that will quickly turn it into a profit. And that may be exactly what makes the iPhone so successful.