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The potential for a 48MP telephoto lens in the iPhone 17 Pro Max

The cover image shows the camera setup of the iPhone 15 Pro max.

Time sure does zip by, especially in the world of iPhones. Just a blink ago, we were hyped about the iPhone 15 series, and here we are, with whispers of the next generation iPhone 16 and even the iPhone 17.

According to sources, analyst Jeff Pu, who keeps tabs on companies in Apple’s supply chain, spilled the beans on the iPhone 17 Pro Max featuring a 48-megapixel telephoto lens.

Pu shared in a research note with Haitong International Securities, focused on Apple supplier Largan Precision, that the iPhone 17 Pro Max’s upgraded 48-megapixel telephoto lens is tailored for Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro headset, set to hit the US in early 2024. Details are sparse on how the lens plays with the Vision Pro, but exciting times are ahead.

Apple’s already revving up for the Vision Pro, with iOS 17.2 letting the iPhone 15 series record spatial videos with 3D depth for the Vision Pro. When you hold your iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max in landscape mode, the primary and ultra-wide lenses team up for some depth-loaded spatial video magic.

Currently, the iPhone 15 has a 48-megapixel primary lens, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide one, and another 12-megapixel telephoto lens. Word on the street is the iPhone 16 might flaunt a 48-megapixel ultra-wide lens. If all camera-related rumors turn out true, the iPhone 17 Pro Max might be the first iPhone with an entire rear camera squad of 48-megapixel lenses.

Having a 48MP telephoto lens means that the iPhone 17 Pro Max will be able to capture more detail and sharpness in its zoomed-in photos and videos. Additionally, the higher megapixel count will allow for improved low-light performance and image stabilization.

Mark your calendars for September 2025 (I know it is far away), as that’s when the iPhone 17 Pro models are rumored to drop. Apple might be brewing up something big for the displays, too, with whispers that the iPhone 17 and iPhone 17 Plus will be the first non-Pro models to feature a smooth 120Hz refresh rate.

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