Specs leak first iPhone 15 Pro Max 6x periscope zoom camera, next to iPhone 16 Pro

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Apple is gearing up for the first iPhone with periscope camera zoom a few years after Android flagships mastered some Samsung calls the Space Zoom technology. According to the famous analyst Ming Chi Kuo’Apple’s camera suppliers are gearing up for a windfall by introducing the expensive periscope zoom kit first on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

That’s perfectly in line with Apple’s so-called “salami” strategy, which favors new technology in cautious steps to keep profit margins as high as possible. It first waits for Android makers to introduce something groundbreaking and initially very expensive such as an OLED screen or perforated front cameras, checks the market reaction, waits for the components to be perfected and drop in price, then starts as a novelty on its most expensive iPhones first a few years later.

Specifications Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max zoom camera

  • up to 6x optical zoom
  • 12MP 1/3″ sensor
  • Sensor Shift Image Stabilization
  • f/2.8 aperture
That’s exactly the strategy Apple will be pursuing for its first iPhone with periscope zoom, it seems. In 2019, flagship phones from Chinese makers entered a zoom race with the introduction of the Huawei P30 Pro and Oppo Reno 10x zoom.
Today’s thin phones don’t allow for more than 2x-3x telephoto zooms, which is what Apple now uses on iPhones, so a folded optics module was used to allow light to travel along the height of the phone rather than more limited thickness.

Periscope zoom really took off when Samsung started equipping its S-line handsets with true 10x zoom lenses, and now its high-end phones come with both telephoto cameras for close-up objects and portraits, as well as Space Zoom lenses capable of up to 10x high quality magnification.

However, when Apple introduces the technology on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, it will enter the collective mainstream, as it so often happens, and then there might hardly be a flagship phone without a 5x-10x zoom camera.

Don’t expect a 10x zoom on the iPhone 15 Pro Max like the one on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, as Apple’s Baby Steps Periscoping will feature a 5x-6x magnification with folded optics over a 12MP 1/3″ sensor featuring Apple’s Sensor Shift stabilization technology and f/2.8 aperture.

The reason behind the relatively slow adoption of the periscope zoom on flagship phones is that the kit itself is very expensive. When Huawei introduced the 5x periscope zoom technology, we sat for an interview with the CEO, and he confirmed at the time that it is very difficult to make a profit from such a phone, as the suppliers of high-precision optical zoom kits charge an arm and a leg for them.

The situation hasn’t changed much, it seems, as the current multi-layer 7P lenses that Apple uses for its iPhone cameras cost up to $2 each, while the optical zoom kit that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will use can reach $15. . If the expected initial vendors can’t deliver enough revenue, the cost of the 5x zoom camera on the 15 Pro Max could reach $70, Kuo warns.

This will inevitably come at the expense of Apple’s margins and we should expect a higher price of the iPhone 15 Pro Max based on the exclusivity of the zoom camera. For the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max, which will both have periscope cameras, that may not be the case, according to the analysis, as more companies are expected to join Apple’s folded optics supply chain by then.

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