What you need to know
- A long-awaited auto-focus feature for the front camera could come to iPhone 14.
- Analyst Min-Chi Kuo has named the iPhone 14 camera suppliers his sources point to working on the new device.
- How many of the new features will be reserved for the iPhone 14 Pro remains to be seen.
If you've ever pulled out your iPhone for a quick selfie snap and despaired at the blurry mess your phone throws back at you… rejoice! A new report claims that Apple is making big changes to its iPhone 14 front-facing camera, with a new autofocus system leading the charge.
The news comes courtesy of regular (and relatively reliable) Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, whose insider supply chain sources point to a new front-facing camera module for the iPhone 14 being made by component manufacturers at Genius and Largan (for the lenses) Sony (for sensors) and Alps and Luxshare (for the focus system).
"iPhone 14's front camera will upgrade to AF (vs. the existing FF), significantly improving the selfie and video performance," Kuo says in that document. "The critical hardware upgrades include adding a VCM and upgrading to a 6P lens (vs. the existing 5P)."
For the uninitiated, VCM stands for Voice Coil Motors, otherwise known as Voice Coil Actuators, using a coil and magnet combo to adjust the lens position to improve focus. 6P refers to the six-part lens, compared to the five-part lens present on the current iPhone, with a larger f/1.9 aperture also said to be present.
A camera without the negatives?
The report moves to corroborate similar rumors of front-facing camera improvements from May, though this is the first time specific manufacturers have been named, with Genius having a Cupertino office just five minutes drive away from the Apple Park headquarters.
Genius will be "the main supplier for the 6P lens, and the ASP is about 20% higher than 5P," adds Kuo, while "CCM maker Cowell, under Luxshare ICT group, will benefit from the vertical integration of CCM and VCM, given Luxshare ICT is the new VCM supplier for the front camera."
With the advanced components in use, the iPhone 14 should be able to deliver much greater clarity in photos and video capture from its front-facing camera.
But, as has become the norm with the extended iPhone range, it's possible that not all iPhone 14 models will be created equally when it comes to cameras. Just like with the iPhone 13 Pro, it's thought that some of the iPhone 14 range's more eye-catching camera features will be reserved for the iPhone 14 Pro high-end models, including the rumored 8K video capture and 48MP rear sensor. Fingers crossed that the front-facing selfie camera's alleged improvements make it all the way down the range.
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Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 14 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system.
Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar, Space.com, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews, Mirror.co.uk, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.