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Top analyst predicts increased likelihood of Tetraprism camera for iPhone 16 Pro

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the first iPhone ever to be equipped with a periscope lens. To increase the focal length of a smartphone camera without having the lens stick out from the body, a tube runs down the length of the inside of the phone with a prism placed at a 90-degree angle at the end of the tube. Light enters from the lens and bounces off the prism to the image sensor thus extending the focal length of the lens far beyond what it could be otherwise.

Apple’s implementation of the periscope camera uses four prisms to extend the focal length of the lens to 120mm. This allows for 5x optical zoom. This decision was made because the 5x zoom can be stabilized incredibly well. According to Jon McCormack, Apple’s VP of camera software engineering, the 10x zoom was considered but was deemed difficult to use without the steadiest hands in the world or a tripod. The same reason led to Samsung replacing its 10x optical zoom lens with a 5x optical zoom.

There have been rumors that Apple will add the Tetraprism lens to the iPhone 16 Pro next year so that both iPhone 16 Pro series models will have it. TF International’s Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that Largan, the company that supplies Apple with the Tetraprism lens assembly, experienced improved manufacturing yields. This is the reason why Apple is considering adding the feature to the iPhone 16 Pro in 2024.

Kuo also cited the expected increase in the size of the iPhone 16 Pro’s display from 6.1-inch to 6.3-inch as the reason why Apple could include the periscope lens in the iPhone 16 Pro model. Largan’s ability to raise its production yield on Tetraprism zoom cameras from 40% to 70% plays a significant role in this decision, making this technology more profitable for both Apple and Largan.

In addition, Kuo reports that Apple and Huawei are the two fastest-growing smartphone brands in global periscope camera smartphone shipments. Apple is expected to make gains in the premium iPhone 16 Pro series units, primarily due to the periscope lens features. Meanwhile, Huawei will also feature periscope lenses in its flagship models, which are expected to experience increased shipments as well. With the increase in demand for Tetraprism zoom cameras, Largan’s profits are expected to surpass Wall Street expectations in 2024.

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