Apple may use components made by Samsung for a “folded” telephoto lens on at least some iPhone models released in 2022, allowing for significantly increased optical zoom, according to unnamed sources cited by Korean website The Elec.
The report claims that Samsung’s Electro-Mechanics subsidiary would supply components such as actuators and lenses to LG, which in turn would use the components to manufacture the folded camera module to supply to Apple. This move would supposedly prevent Apple from hurting its relationship with LG, and address issues related to patents.
The possibility of a folded or “periscope” lens on 2022 iPhones was first mentioned by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in March, and there have been several rumors since. The technology would allow for significantly increased optical zoom on iPhones, well beyond the current 2x and 2.5x limits on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, respectively. Huawei’s P40 Pro+ smartphone, for example, features a periscope lens with up to 10x optical zoom.
With folded camera optics, light absorbed by the image sensor is bent or “folded,” allowing for increased optical zoom and improved image quality while maintaining a compact lens design appropriate for smartphones. Earlier this year, we shared a more detailed overview of what a periscope lens could mean for future iPhones.