Apple is expected to introduce a significant redesign for the iPhone family with this year’s iPhone 12 models, but speculation for future iPhones is already starting up. According to a new report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (reported by 9to5Mac), Apple is adding two new camera lens suppliers to its supply chain this year, Semco and Sunny Optical.
For this year, that means Apple is apparently using a new ball-based voice coil motor for the camera, sourced from Semco, rather than the current spring-based design. The new motor should help provide better autofocus performance.
Perhaps more interestingly, Kuo predicts that Apple will source periscope cameras from Semco, which will make their debut in the 2022 iPhone models. Periscope cameras are still somewhat uncommon, but a few devices such as Huawei’s P-series flagships, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, and others come with a periscope camera. These cameras offer greatly enhanced zoom capabilities compared to typical telephoto cameras because they make use of vertical space inside the phone offer greater optical zoom.
Of course, we’re still a ways off from 2022, so it’s fair to say that nothing is set in stone yet. In the meantime, the new iPhone 12 design and now the potentially improved autofocus performance, should help excite those interested in a new iPhone. The phones have also been reported to feature a 120Hz refresh rate display, though other reports have denied that.