Apple is reportedly looking for suppliers that can provide it with “folded cameras”, according to a Korean website ETnews. The component in question is believed to be the periscope camera technology that is found on smartphones from makers such as Samsung and OPPO.
According to the report, sources familiar with the matter stated that the iPhone maker has had talks with a particular company to obtain the technology and patents. While the Pro models of the Apple iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 do feature a telephoto sensor, it could only zoom to a maximum of 2x and 2.5x respectively. Imaging beyond that would require the camera system to rely on digital zooming, which will cause a noticeable drop in quality.
ETnews suggests that Apple may have partnered with Samsung, who currently hold patents to the periscope camera technology. The Korean company is known to have utilised the tech on its Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphone, which features high-end zooming capabilities which it dubs as the “Space Zoom”. Other candidates who also possess a similar periscope approach include OPPO and Huawei. Also worth noting that Apple currently receives camera modules from companies such as LG Innotek, Sharp and O-film for its mobile devices.
Should the supposed deal be successful, this would entail next generation iPhone models to feature the technology which would greatly add to its photography capabilities. This in turn will enable the phone telephoto camera system to achieve high-magnification optical zooming at up to 5x or beyond, without affecting the thickness of the device itself.