Kuo: iPhone gaining a bigger sensor & sensor stabilization in 2020, periscope lens in 2022

Apple is allegedly working on interesting photography improvements for future iPhones.

That’s according to reliable Apple analysts Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, who revealed his predictions regarding planned iPhone camera improvements in a note shared with clients Monday, copies of which were obtained by MacRumors, AppleInsider and 9to5Mac.

Sensor-shifting technology

Two flagship models to be released later this year are predicted to pick up new and better camera elements, including a larger camera sensor and sensor-shift stabilization.

A bigger sensor yields increased pixel size (assuming sensor resolution is unchanged), thereby capturing more light and resulting in better low-light images and less noise. The rumored sensor-shift technology may replace the current lens-based optical image stabilization to support movement correction across three axes: up, down, left, right and rotation.

Kuo did not name sources for his report, but supply-chain publication DigiTimes reported last December that some models in Apple’s upcoming 2020 iPhone family would come equipped with sensor-based stabilization technology instead of optical stabilization.

Per Kuo, sensor-shift technology will be limited to a pair of top-end models in Apple’s pipeline for 2020, probably tentatively named “iPhone 12 Pro” and “iPhone 12 Pro Max” models.

MacRumors has more:

While details are slim, sensor-shift technology could bring image stabilization to the ultra wide lens on future iPhones, starting with the 6.7-inch model. The iPhone 11 Pro has optical image stabilization for both photo and video, but only when using the wide or telephoto lenses. Sensor-shift tech would provide a solution for this, as the stabilization would apply to the camera sensor itself and not be dependent on any specific lens.

It could even improve iPhone photography when using attachable lenses like the OlloClip.

Aside from sensor-shift technology, the flagship model is said to swap the current 1/3.6-inch camera module behind the wide-angle lens for a new 1/1.9-inch part, known as the 7P.

Periscope lens

While the telephoto lens will particularly benefit from sensor-shift stabilization, iPhone models that Apple plans on releasing in 2022 (the “iPhone 13” lineup) are predicted to come equipped with a new periscope camera similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra, produced by Genius.

A periscope lens would enable “a longer focal length along the long dimension of the iPhone, instead of just being limited to front-to-back,” according to AppleInsider.

iPhones currently support 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.

Four new iPhones in 2020

To be clear, Kuo explains that this year’s sensor improvements will be included in Apple’s camera improvements planned for other models due next year. The analyst has maintained his prediction that we’ll be seeing as many as four new iPhones models this year:

  • 5.4-inch OLED iPhone with two rear cameras
  • 6.1-inch OLED iPhone with two rear cameras
  • 6.1-inch OLED iPhone with tree rear cameras and LiDAR sensor
  • 6.7-inch OLED iPhone with tree rear cameras and LiDAR sensor

What do you make of all this? Which rumored new iPhone model would you pick, and why?

Let us know by sharing your thoughts in the commenting section down below.