Apple allegedly gearing up for future iPhone with greater than 12MP camera order

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
With the fall iPhone releases on the doorstep, new reports from the supply chain suggest that Apple has turned to its lens supplier for the next generation already in search of camera sensors in excess of 12 megapixels.




According to market rumors, repeated by DigiTimes on Tuesday, only Largan Precision meets Apple's yield rate requirements. Accordingly, Apple is booking production time at Largan's new factory in Taichung for "above 12-megapixel lens modules."

Apple has denied comment. However, Largan notes that production capability at the new factory will come on gradually, with small volume production beginning at the end of the quarter, with increases before the end of the calendar year.

Largan CEO Lin En-ping claims that the new factory is designed to produce dual-lens cameras, with large apertures. Additional capacity has been reserved for 3D sensing modules as well.

DigiTimes does generally provide accurate information from within Apple's supply chain. However, the publication has an unreliable track record in predicting Apple's future product plans. often predicting both timing and features incorrectly for upcoming products.

The camera order is not the first information that has escaped the supply chain about the fall 2018 iPhone. In June, LG was pegged as a possible supplier for flexible circuit boards, as well as the provider of L-shaped batteries for next year's release.

More immediately, Apple is expected to announce three new iPhones with the high-end OLED model, and two other devices expected at a Sept. 12 press event. Also expected is a refresh of the Apple TV adding 4K video as a playback option, and an LTE-equipped Apple Watch.
Avieshek
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 207member
    This "news" is about as useful as "next iPhone will be better than its predecessor" - there's literally nothing to hang a hat on.
    schlackSpamSandwichrepressthisjony0lolliverwaverboy
  • Reply 2 of 24
    tjwolf said:
    This "news" is about as useful as "next iPhone will be better than its predecessor" - there's literally nothing to hang a hat on.
    Exactly. Not to mention, more megapixels is probably about the least useful dimension of "better" for a 12MP phone camera...whereas aperture, stabilization, auto focusing, zoom, speed, image processing, depth sensing, etc. all mean more.
    gilly33boltsfan17SpamSandwichrepressthisjony0lolliverwaverboybaconstang
  • Reply 3 of 24
    It would be a real shame if the .heif file size advantage was wiped out by unnecessarily large images.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,644member
    Quite frankly, I would prefer better noise and dynamic range. Even shooting with lightroom’s RAW/HDR mode gives way too much noise when making more than a very slight correction for shadows.
    SpamSandwichnetroxjony0
  • Reply 5 of 24
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,858member
    The linked article has this quote:

    The new factory in Taichung is designed to accomodate monthly production capacity of 600 million lens modules

    Surely that has to be a mistake? 600 million modules per month would mean 7.2 billion per year. Will this factory really provide every person on the planet with a lens module within a year? 


    repressthislolliver
  • Reply 6 of 24
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,298member
    schlack said:
    tjwolf said:
    This "news" is about as useful as "next iPhone will be better than its predecessor" - there's literally nothing to hang a hat on.
    Exactly. Not to mention, more megapixels is probably about the least useful dimension of "better" for a 12MP phone camera...whereas aperture, stabilization, auto focusing, zoom, speed, image processing, depth sensing, etc. all mean more.
    Also exactly.   And more MP can actually lead to inferior images as there are smaller photosites, which heat up at high ISOs, generating noise.   Nikon's top-of-the-line full frame DSLR ($6500 just for the body) is 21MP.   The just about to be released D850 at half the cost ($3300) is 45.7 MP.    Having said that, there have been tremendous advances in making high resolution sensors that can shoot at high ISOs with less noise, but the iPhone sensor, assuming it's the same size they've used in the past, is just 18 square cm, which is just 2.1% the size of a full-frame sensor and 4.8% the size of an APS-C sensor.   For its size, it does impossibly well, but adding more MP could indeed be a bad idea unless they're increasing sensor size.  And if they increase sensor size, they'd have to increase the size of the lens and it would have to protrude.  Can't get away from physics.    

    If the primary purpose of iPhone images is to post them to social media, no biggie.   But if anyone ever wants to display them large or (gasp!) make a print from one, low-light images can really look bad.  
  • Reply 7 of 24
    But if the goal is mapping your surroundings to feed AR or VR, more MP is useful.  Assuming that you have the processing power and memory to deal with more information.
    If the goal was merely bragging rights, then of course more MP is good!

  • Reply 8 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,644member
    zoetmb said:
    schlack said:
    tjwolf said:
    This "news" is about as useful as "next iPhone will be better than its predecessor" - there's literally nothing to hang a hat on.
    Exactly. Not to mention, more megapixels is probably about the least useful dimension of "better" for a 12MP phone camera...whereas aperture, stabilization, auto focusing, zoom, speed, image processing, depth sensing, etc. all mean more.
    Also exactly.   And more MP can actually lead to inferior images as there are smaller photosites, which heat up at high ISOs, generating noise.   Nikon's top-of-the-line full frame DSLR ($6500 just for the body) is 21MP.   The just about to be released D850 at half the cost ($3300) is 45.7 MP.    Having said that, there have been tremendous advances in making high resolution sensors that can shoot at high ISOs with less noise, but the iPhone sensor, assuming it's the same size they've used in the past, is just 18 square cm, which is just 2.1% the size of a full-frame sensor and 4.8% the size of an APS-C sensor.   For its size, it does impossibly well, but adding more MP could indeed be a bad idea unless they're increasing sensor size.  And if they increase sensor size, they'd have to increase the size of the lens and it would have to protrude.  Can't get away from physics.    

    If the primary purpose of iPhone images is to post them to social media, no biggie.   But if anyone ever wants to display them large or (gasp!) make a print from one, low-light images can really look bad.  
    I don’t remember what the actual size is, but it’s not 18 square cm. It would be great if Apple could figure out a way to do that.
    jony0baconstang
  • Reply 9 of 24


    Just use Chemical Glass, (or even better, Crystal, like Sapphire) instead of plastic for each of the six-element lens. 
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 10 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,644member
    Avieshek said:


    Just use Chemical Glass, (or even better, Crystal, like Sapphire) instead of plastic for each of the six-element lens. 
    And add how much to the phone price? You can’t just use sapphire in a lens, and crystal isn’t better...just because.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    zoetmb said:
    schlack said:
    tjwolf said:
    This "news" is about as useful as "next iPhone will be better than its predecessor" - there's literally nothing to hang a hat on.
    Exactly. Not to mention, more megapixels is probably about the least useful dimension of "better" for a 12MP phone camera...whereas aperture, stabilization, auto focusing, zoom, speed, image processing, depth sensing, etc. all mean more.
    Also exactly.   And more MP can actually lead to inferior images as there are smaller photosites, which heat up at high ISOs, generating noise.   Nikon's top-of-the-line full frame DSLR ($6500 just for the body) is 21MP.   The just about to be released D850 at half the cost ($3300) is 45.7 MP.    Having said that, there have been tremendous advances in making high resolution sensors that can shoot at high ISOs with less noise, but the iPhone sensor, assuming it's the same size they've used in the past, is just 18 square cm, which is just 2.1% the size of a full-frame sensor and 4.8% the size of an APS-C sensor.   For its size, it does impossibly well, but adding more MP could indeed be a bad idea unless they're increasing sensor size.  And if they increase sensor size, they'd have to increase the size of the lens and it would have to protrude.  Can't get away from physics.    

    If the primary purpose of iPhone images is to post them to social media, no biggie.   But if anyone ever wants to display them large or (gasp!) make a print from one, low-light images can really look bad.  
    Yep. Unfortunately the majority of the general public will see the number and always think the higher the megapixels, the better the camera. Adding more mp's with such a small sensor is a bad idea. The D850 looks like such a great camera. Its pretty cool you can shoot 4K timelapses in camera without worrying about wearing out your shutter. 
  • Reply 12 of 24
    zoetmb said:
    schlack said:
    tjwolf said:
    This "news" is about as useful as "next iPhone will be better than its predecessor" - there's literally nothing to hang a hat on.
    Exactly. Not to mention, more megapixels is probably about the least useful dimension of "better" for a 12MP phone camera...whereas aperture, stabilization, auto focusing, zoom, speed, image processing, depth sensing, etc. all mean more.
    Also exactly.   And more MP can actually lead to inferior images as there are smaller photosites, which heat up at high ISOs, generating noise.   Nikon's top-of-the-line full frame DSLR ($6500 just for the body) is 21MP.   The just about to be released D850 at half the cost ($3300) is 45.7 MP.    Having said that, there have been tremendous advances in making high resolution sensors that can shoot at high ISOs with less noise, but the iPhone sensor, assuming it's the same size they've used in the past, is just 18 square cm, which is just 2.1% the size of a full-frame sensor and 4.8% the size of an APS-C sensor.   For its size, it does impossibly well, but adding more MP could indeed be a bad idea unless they're increasing sensor size.  And if they increase sensor size, they'd have to increase the size of the lens and it would have to protrude.  Can't get away from physics.    

    If the primary purpose of iPhone images is to post them to social media, no biggie.   But if anyone ever wants to display them large or (gasp!) make a print from one, low-light images can really look bad.  
    Yep. Unfortunately the majority of the general public will see the number and always think the higher the megapixels, the better the camera. Adding more mp's with such a small sensor is a bad idea. The D850 looks like such a great camera. Its pretty cool you can shoot 4K timelapses in camera without worrying about wearing out your shutter. 
    Thankfully for us, Schiller has said the exact same thing you're saying at previous product events. They know this. That's why he also touts bigger pixel announcements with the new cameras, etc. They aren't just going to throw a bunch of useless, noisy pixels into the iPhone just for specs. They get it.
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 13 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,506member
    It would be a real shame if the .heif file size advantage was wiped out by unnecessarily large images.
    Im pretty shocked at the number of negative Nellies we have in this thread.   Improvements to the camera system are always welcomed, as long as they make for more information or quality in the resulting picture.  Given that there are many areas of camera performance needing improvement on iPhone.    Hopefully Apple can improve in the areas of low light performance, focusing and other issues while giving us more pixels.  

    In case you are wondering, pixels are information.   Assuming high quality information that means more data to work with post capture.  Pixels aren't bad as long as we don't see regressions elsewhere.  
  • Reply 14 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,506member

    melgross said:
    Quite frankly, I would prefer better noise and dynamic range. Even shooting with lightroom’s RAW/HDR mode gives way too much noise when making more than a very slight correction for shadows.
    Im fairly confident that we can have both.   There is an incredible amount of research going into camera sensors.   So more pixels could arrive with little to no regressions elsewhere.  

    If Apple pulls head from ass about thinness we could see camera improvements simply due to more efficient transmission of light to the sensor.  Another possibility is sensor with a curved surface that better couples incoming light.  All sorts of other techniques are being researched including the use of quantum dots.     So the potential is there for an overall better camera.  
  • Reply 15 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,644member
    wizard69 said:
    It would be a real shame if the .heif file size advantage was wiped out by unnecessarily large images.
    Im pretty shocked at the number of negative Nellies we have in this thread.   Improvements to the camera system are always welcomed, as long as they make for more information or quality in the resulting picture.  Given that there are many areas of camera performance needing improvement on iPhone.    Hopefully Apple can improve in the areas of low light performance, focusing and other issues while giving us more pixels.  

    In case you are wondering, pixels are information.   Assuming high quality information that means more data to work with post capture.  Pixels aren't bad as long as we don't see regressions elsewhere.  
    I don’t think it’s trending negative. We have the same discussion in the photo sties I’m on, including the professional photo sites. It’s always a question of resolution vs noise/dynamic range.

    pixels aren’t good if they're noisy. It’s better to have fewer high quality pixels than more lower quality pixels.

    so,whatvwe’re talking about is whether it would be better to have 12MP that are of higher quality next time around, or even this time, or more pixels of the same quality. It’s a very fair argument to have.

    i can tell you that if pixel quality is the same, but there are a LOT more pixels, for the same size image, projected in cm or inches, the higher Pixel count image will look less noisy.
    staticx57
  • Reply 16 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,506member
    zoetmb said:
    schlack said:
    tjwolf said:
    This "news" is about as useful as "next iPhone will be better than its predecessor" - there's literally nothing to hang a hat on.
    Exactly. Not to mention, more megapixels is probably about the least useful dimension of "better" for a 12MP phone camera...whereas aperture, stabilization, auto focusing, zoom, speed, image processing, depth sensing, etc. all mean more.
    Also exactly.   And more MP can actually lead to inferior images as there are smaller photosites, which heat up at high ISOs, generating noise.   Nikon's top-of-the-line full frame DSLR ($6500 just for the body) is 21MP.   The just about to be released D850 at half the cost ($3300) is 45.7 MP.    Having said that, there have been tremendous advances in making high resolution sensors that can shoot at high ISOs with less noise, but the iPhone sensor, assuming it's the same size they've used in the past, is just 18 square cm, which is just 2.1% the size of a full-frame sensor and 4.8% the size of an APS-C sensor.   For its size, it does impossibly well, but adding more MP could indeed be a bad idea unless they're increasing sensor size.  And if they increase sensor size, they'd have to increase the size of the lens and it would have to protrude.  Can't get away from physics.    

    If the primary purpose of iPhone images is to post them to social media, no biggie.   But if anyone ever wants to display them large or (gasp!) make a print from one, low-light images can really look bad.  
    Yep. Unfortunately the majority of the general public will see the number and always think the higher the megapixels, the better the camera. Adding more mp's with such a small sensor is a bad idea. The D850 looks like such a great camera. Its pretty cool you can shoot 4K timelapses in camera without worrying about wearing out your shutter. 
    Thankfully for us, Schiller has said the exact same thing you're saying at previous product events. They know this. That's why he also touts bigger pixel announcements with the new cameras, etc. They aren't just going to throw a bunch of useless, noisy pixels into the iPhone just for specs. They get it.
    Frankly i see the camera as one of the more impressive examples of tech in iPhone.   Technology wise there is still lots of headroom so i really doubt Apple would increase pixel counts and settle for huge regressions elsewhere.   For the most part the camera has been under continuous improvement. 
  • Reply 17 of 24
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,644member

    wizard69 said:

    melgross said:
    Quite frankly, I would prefer better noise and dynamic range. Even shooting with lightroom’s RAW/HDR mode gives way too much noise when making more than a very slight correction for shadows.
    Im fairly confident that we can have both.   There is an incredible amount of research going into camera sensors.   So more pixels could arrive with little to no regressions elsewhere.  

    If Apple pulls head from ass about thinness we could see camera improvements simply due to more efficient transmission of light to the sensor.  Another possibility is sensor with a curved surface that better couples incoming light.  All sorts of other techniques are being researched including the use of quantum dots.     So the potential is there for an overall better camera.  
    There’s just so much we can get generation to generation. So it depends on what Apple thinks is best. A small increase in resolution to 14Mp, with the same, or maybe a little better noise. 16Mp with the same, or slightly more noise, or 12MP with noticably less noise, and better dynamic range.

    i don’t see how much better they can do. But if Apple gets a sensor with the amplifier on chip, then they could get much better noise and dynamic range. But, Apple doesn’t design these chips, though like the Nikon/Sony agreement, Apple could tweak the chip. That’s why Nikon’s versions of the Sony chips are slightly better.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    Avieshek said:

    Just use Chemical Glass, (or even better, Crystal, like Sapphire) instead of plastic for each of the six-element lens. 
    The worst advice ever. Sapphire has much higher reflectivity as well as absorption rate.
    If you use that as optical material for a lens, you will end up with a shitter (in terms of internal reflections and aberrations) and overall slower lens. You don't want any of that ever, and especially when you have a tiny sensor. In a situation, where every photon counts, you don't wanna absorb a good chunk of those in each of the elements of the lens.
    It is already bad enough that there is a lens cover made from sapphire. Besides manufacturing costs will go through the roof if you decide to use sapphire lens elements.
    edited September 2017 baconstang
  • Reply 19 of 24
    normmnormm Posts: 517member
    ph382 said:
    But if the goal is mapping your surroundings to feed AR or VR, more MP is useful.  Assuming that you have the processing power and memory to deal with more information.

    More pixels would also be useful for depth mapping (portrait bokeh effect), and they could always make the standard pictures saved use lower resolution, with less noise and more dynamic range.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    zoetmb said:
    schlack said:
    tjwolf said:
    This "news" is about as useful as "next iPhone will be better than its predecessor" - there's literally nothing to hang a hat on.
    Exactly. Not to mention, more megapixels is probably about the least useful dimension of "better" for a 12MP phone camera...whereas aperture, stabilization, auto focusing, zoom, speed, image processing, depth sensing, etc. all mean more.
    Also exactly.   And more MP can actually lead to inferior images as there are smaller photosites, which heat up at high ISOs, generating noise.   Nikon's top-of-the-line full frame DSLR ($6500 just for the body) is 21MP.   The just about to be released D850 at half the cost ($3300) is 45.7 MP.    Having said that, there have been tremendous advances in making high resolution sensors that can shoot at high ISOs with less noise, but the iPhone sensor, assuming it's the same size they've used in the past, is just 18 square cm, which is just 2.1% the size of a full-frame sensor and 4.8% the size of an APS-C sensor.   For its size, it does impossibly well, but adding more MP could indeed be a bad idea unless they're increasing sensor size.  And if they increase sensor size, they'd have to increase the size of the lens and it would have to protrude.  Can't get away from physics.    

    If the primary purpose of iPhone images is to post them to social media, no biggie.   But if anyone ever wants to display them large or (gasp!) make a print from one, low-light images can really look bad.  
    Yep. Unfortunately the majority of the general public will see the number and always think the higher the megapixels, the better the camera. Adding more mp's with such a small sensor is a bad idea. The D850 looks like such a great camera. Its pretty cool you can shoot 4K timelapses in camera without worrying about wearing out your shutter. 
    Thankfully for us, Schiller has said the exact same thing you're saying at previous product events. They know this. That's why he also touts bigger pixel announcements with the new cameras, etc. They aren't just going to throw a bunch of useless, noisy pixels into the iPhone just for specs. They get it.
    Yep, Apple does get it. You will never see Apple in a megapixel race like we see with Android phones. 
    watto_cobrabaconstang
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