'iPhone 13 Pro Max' to feature f/1.5 wide angle camera, Kuo says

in iPhone edited July 2021
While Apple is not expected to significantly upgrade the rear-facing cameras in its next-generation iPhone series, the largest-screened model will get a slight performance bump thanks in part to a larger effective aperture, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Kuo dropped the tidbit in a note on Wednesday that details Apple's lens supply pipeline. According to the analyst's latest checks, an f/1.5 equivalent lens will cover the wide angle imaging module on a so-called "iPhone 13 Pro Max," potentially opening the door to better nighttime photography and increased bokeh.

Apple's other "iPhone 13" models, which are rumored to include an "iPhone 13 mini," "iPhone 13" and "iPhone 13 Pro" are expected to share an f/1.6 wide angle lens similar or identical in design to the setup introduced with iPhone 12 in 2020.

Like current iPhones, each "iPhone 13" wide angle camera will boast a 7P lens stack to optimize light gathering capabilities and cut down on chromatic aberrations. Apple is expected to transition all rear-facing lenses to 7P in the coming years.

Kuo believes Chinese lens supplier Sunny Optical is primed to pass quality verification testing for its 7P components and should soon enter Apple's supply chain. If all goes well, the company will start shipping 7P wide angle lenses for "iPhone 13" in the second quarter of 2021.

Though this year's iPhone update is not anticipated to bring big changes to the table in terms of imaging hardware, Apple is reportedly planning major upgrades for 2022 and 2023. In March, Kuo said next year's iPhone is likely to adopt a "unibody" design that integrates a camera's voice coil motor with its lens array, saving internal space while increasing device robustness. The following year could mark the introduction of compact and efficient periscope lens technology, which is supposedly slated for use in a telephoto camera configuration.

Beyond iPhone, Apple's need for optical lenses is expected to greatly increase in the next few years as the tech giant moves into new markets with products like "Apple Glass" and "Apple Car," Kuo says.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    It’s high time forward facing cameras were massively upgraded
  • Reply 2 of 7
    It’s high time forward facing cameras were massively upgraded
  • Reply 3 of 7
    M68000M68000 Posts: 658member
    Would love to see Apple offer the sales numbers of the various sizes of the iPhone lineup,  but of course it is doubtful they would share that.  I don’t have the 12 pro max but find the specs on it too large of a phone to want.   It is bigger and heavier than the 8 plus I have and I think I want to go smaller for next phone
  • Reply 4 of 7
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 667member
    Kuo is usually accurate, but if Apple is again rolling out a separate wide angle lens just for the Pro Max, I would hope that there's more to it other than the VERY minor speed spec bump of going from 1.6 to 1.5. Considering all that's being done with computational photography to get the best out of any given image, the biggest real world difference of this minor lens speed improvement is likely to be seen in the marketing copy that sells it. This also may exacerbate the problem that close-up photography enthusiasts have experienced with the 12 Pro Max: the combination of faster wide angle lens and larger sensor--while beneficial in most ways--unfortunately increased the minimum focusing distance compared to all other iPhones. (A change in spec STILL not acknowledged by Apple--because why would prosumer photographers need to know the minimum focusing distance of their camera?) This has made frame-filling close-ups of smaller objects more difficult to achieve without resorting to compromised workarounds using the telephoto lens or later enlargement of the subject which reduces quality in large format prints. 
    edited March 2021 h4y3s
  • Reply 5 of 7
    h4y3sh4y3s Posts: 80member
    what does the P in "7P" or "6P" stand for? Plastic? Piece?

  • Reply 6 of 7
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,074member
    I think it will be called 12S not 13.   They will save 13 from r next year when they shrink the notch.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 667member
    h4y3s said:
    what does the P in "7P" or "6P" stand for? Plastic? Piece?

    The 7P has 7 elements in the lens design as opposed to 6 in the 6P. There are a variety of possible benefits from an added lens element, though "more" isn't infinitely better. Each element presents another barrier through which light must pass. I believe the elements in the iPhone are optical grade plastic, which would make sense from a weight, cost and durability perspective. 

    edited March 2021 doozydozen
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