For the first time in its history, an iPhone could mount a telescopic lens to make very magnified photos of excellent quality, but Apple has yet to decide who will produce it.
The camera of the next smartphone from Apple, iPhone 13, could have a zoom significantly higher than the current model and, even, its competitors. It would in fact be an optical zoom, equipped with an interesting technology that would allow you to close and extend the lens as needed.
Like most models, the iPhone has a camera with fixed optical magnification (which is usually the lens that protrudes most in the rear photo compartment) combined with a digital zoom, which is a technology that provides for the cropping of the image by selecting only the pixels included in the enlarged part. Unlike the optical zoom, there is no real approach to the subject of the photo but only a simulation that, inevitably, affects the quality of the image. A zoom photo of this type, in fact, has a lower resolution because it is a "crop" of a photo with a higher resolution, which includes in the frame other details. The few smartphone models that have so far chosen to implement a true optical zoom camera have not been well received by the public, partly due to poorly functional designs, with protruding lenses that are potentially more prone to accidental damage. With Apple's new option, however, the time seems ripe for a revolution in the field that will allow for even better results than those, already excellent, of the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
How will the iPhone 13 camera look like?
According to the first rumors, Apple would be looking for manufacturers able to make a "foldable camera", that is, with a "periscopic zoom". In cameras with optics of this type, the structure of the lenses is that of a periscope, but with the lenses positioned horizontally inside the body of the smartphone. When you operate the zoom, therefore, there is no part that protrudes outward.
Thanks to this particular design, Apple phones could enjoy an optical zoom with a significant magnification capacity due to a greater distance between the lens and sensor, but without going to affect the thickness of the new iPhone. A real novelty, since the current structure does not allow for an increase in focal distance, unless you create lenses that are more and more protruding and subject to impact.
This is not an absolute novelty: other recent top of the range devices, such as the Huawei P30 Pro and P40 Pro, have periscopic zooms and, in fact, take excellent enlarged photos. But on an iPhone, this solution has yet to be seen.
iPhone 13, Apple already in talks for new camera?
Apparently, Apple has already opened a discussion table with a major partner for the creation of the new camera model, although the name of the company has not yet been revealed. The number of papabili, however, is particularly restricted given the peculiarities of the structure to be implemented in the new smartphones.
iPhone 13, will it be Apple vs. Samsung?
Between these tick then the name of Apple's big competitor, namely Samsung Electro-Mechanics, one of the few to have made a foldable structure for the Galaxy S20 Ultra, and the Chinese company Sunny Optical Technology. However, it would be Samsung Electronics, through Corephotonics, to own the patent of the model; therefore, in order to continue with the intent, the Cupertino company could be forced to make an agreement with the electronics giant.
But what is Corephotonics? It is an Israeli company, a company in possession of some interesting patents in the field of smartphone cameras - foldable version included - and acquired in 2019 by the very same Chinese manufacturer. Currently, Apple has an agreement for camera modules with other companies, such as Sharp, O-Film and LG Innotek, supplier of most of the components.