Forget iPhone 16, the iPhone 17 could feature one of the biggest camera upgrades in years — 24MP slated for FaceTime and selfies

iPhone 15 Pro camera
(Image credit: Apple)

A new report claims that Apple is planning a major upgrade to the iPhone 17’s front-facing camera that could see it deliver a 24MP sensor, doubling the size of the current 12MP offering. 

The news comes via notable Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo, who made the revelation in a blog post-Thursday. His note pertains to the fortunes of camera supply chain outfit Genius, which is set to benefit from several upcoming Apple innovations including “a significant upgrade to the iPhone 17’s front camera lens” and a periscope lens in the iPhone 16 Pro, inherited from Apple’s current best iPhone, the iPhone 15 Pro Max. 

“The front camera of the iPhone 17 will be upgraded to a 24MP/6P lens, which will significantly improve the image quality,” Kuo writes. Apple’s front-facing TrueDepth camera powers selfies on the iPhone, FaceTime, and of course, Face ID. According to this latest rumor, a significant upgrade is coming, but it is still nearly two years away. 

TrueDepth camera finally gets an upgrade

Apple’s iPhone has had a front-facing camera for well over a decade, and the last big change to the module was the TrueDepth upgrade added with the iPhone X. While Apple has tweaked the formula since, the hardware behind the feature has remained relatively untouched. As with the rear camera configuration, adding pixels is one of the most significant upgrades Apple can make to any of its cameras and this one should provide that big boost in image quality Kuo is talking about. 

If Apple follows suit with the iPhone 17 as it has done in previous years, it’s possible that this larger 24MP sensor could still offer 12MP photos, using computational photography in the same way that the iPhone 15’s 48MP camera puts out 24MP photos by default. 

As noted, the iPhone 17 is still well over a year away, and in the meantime, we’re expecting the iPhone 16 Pro to get a new 48MP ultrawide camera and the 5x optical zoom from this year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max, as Kuo also alludes to in this week’s note. 

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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