iPhone 15 Pro Max to get major camera zoom upgrade, says insider

Iphone 14 Pro Purple Exploded
Iphone 14 Pro Purple Exploded (Image credit: FPT)
What you need to know

The iPhone 15 will get a major camera upgrade.

A periscope lens in the Pro Max will improve zoom.

Expanded availability of the lens will follow next year.

A new report from Apple insider and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the sole device that stands to benefit from a new periscope camera upgrade next year -- meaning iPhone 15 Pro and "regular" editions may lack the key new feature.

Writing Thursday Kuo stated:

  1. The telephoto camera of iPhone will use a periscope design from 2023. The models that adopt a periscope are:

(1) 2H23 new iPhone: iPhone 15 Pro Max.

(2) 2H24 new iPhone: iPhone 16 Pro Max and iPhone 16 Pro.

(3) The main specifications of the periscope for iPhone 15 and iPhone 16 are similar, including 1/3" 12MP, f/2.8, sensor-shift support, and 5–6x optical zoom.

As Kuo notes, Apple's best iPhone in 2023, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, will apparently benefit from a new periscope design. Periscope cameras use 90-degree prisms and an array of lenses to get light to your camera's sensor. This means the lens can be much longer because it has more room, allowing for a greater degree of optical zoom. Kuo says this camera, a 12MP one to be exact, will allow for 5-6x optical zoom, an improvement on the current 3x of Apple's iPhone 13 Pro.

While we expect iPhone 14 to get a new 48MP camera, it sounds like optical zoom upgrades are still a couple of years away. Kuo also says these improvements won't filter down to the regular iPhone 'Pro' until the iPhone 16 in 2024. The lower-end iPhone 15 and 16 won't benefit at all. Kuo says other iPhone 16 rear camera upgrades are on the way but doesn't specify what they will be.

iPhone 14 is expected to do away with the iPhone 'mini' in favor of a new 6.7-inch Max version, with other Pro upgrades expected to include a new processor and an always-on display. The iPhone 14 is also tipped for its usual September launch window.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9