Apple iPhone cameras to get bigger sensors, periscope lens in next two years - analyst

iPhone 13 Pro
The 2022 iPhone 14 is set to support 8K video recording. Photo credit: Getty Images

The next two years may see big changes to iPhone cameras according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In his latest research note, Kuo said he expects a 48-megapixel (MP) lens to be added to iPhones in 2022 and that 2023 will bring a periscope lens to at least one of the models to support increased optical zoom.

Kuo previously said the new 48MP lens would be limited to iPhone 14 Pro models, which will also support recording of 8K videos.

Current iPhones are limited to 4K videos at various refresh rates, depending on the model.

The 8K videos would be suitable for viewing on the company's rumoured AR/VR headset that is expected to launch at the end of 2022, Kuo said.

A periscope lens refracts light into the lens to magnify it, with the compact internal design supporting the form of smartphones, as opposed to the external design seen in many consumer cameras.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a main sensor with 108MP resolution while another of its cameras has a periscope lens supporting 10x optical zoom. Apple's current iPhones offer only 3x optical zoom.

Other rumours about the iPhone 14 range include the disappearing of the infamous camera notch on the front screen, with a hole-punch centre camera set to replace it in at least the Pro models.

Kuo has written extensively about the Cupertino-based company's move into the headset market in recent years. He has predicted it will be powered by the same Apple silicon that powers the company's computers rather than its iPhone chips.

That increase in computing power is necessary to make it a standalone device, part of a goal to replace the iPhone with a headset within a decade.

"If the headset is positioned only as an accessory for the Mac or iPhone, it will not be conducive to the growth of the product," Kuo wrote.

"An AR headset that works independently means that it will have its own ecosystem and provide the most complete and flexible user experience."

He also expects the device to be lightweight, at around 300 to 400 grams, and says it will offer eye tracking, skin detection, voice control and expression detection.