Apple might have a supplier lined up for a future periscope iPhone camera

Green iPhone 13 and Alpine Green iPhone 13 Pro cameras
Green iPhone 13 and Alpine Green iPhone 13 Pro cameras (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has reportedly lined up a new supplier for parts that would be used in a new periscope camera system.
  • A periscope camera would allow for improved optical zoom capabilities.
  • The hope is that a periscope lens could come to the 2023 iPhone.

Jahwa Electronics, a company that already provides parts for Samsung's Galaxy S22 phones, is thought to have lined up business that will see it do the same for Apple. The move could see the company provide parts for a rumored periscope telephoto camera array for a future iPhone.

Jahwa Electronics is reported by The Elec to be spending 191 billion won — around $155 million — on setting up a new production line. The report believes that the line will be used to produce optical image stabilization (OIS) actuators for Apple. While the same parts are already being built for Samsung phones, Apple prefers to have lines dedicated to its own business — hence the new expenditure by Jahwa Electronics.

As reported by TheElec earlier, Apple visited Jahwa Electronics' OIS production lines in South Korea during the first half of 2021.As Cupertino conventionally asks its suppliers to build production lines exclusive for itself, Jahwa Electronics' new facilities will likely supply only to the iPhone maker.

It's thought that the new OIS actuators could be used to bring a periscope telephoto lens to an iPhone in the future, allowing for much improved optical zoom capabilities. Such a camera system was first rumored to be part of the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro devices, but that now seems unlikely to be the case. Instead, a target of 2023 and the iPhone 15 Pro could be more likely based on the timelines associated with getting a new production line up and running. It's also thought Apple would need to approve the new facility, too.

While the new facility will be operated in Gumi, those in Cheongju, South Korea and others in Vietnam are expected to continue to supply Samsung with its own OIS actuators.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.