iPhone 15 Ultra camera upgrade only passing on to one iPhone 16 model

Apple iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: iMore)

The iPhone 15 Pro Max could become the Ultra, and the iPhone 15 Ultra could come with a snazzy new camera, according to a rumor that's been long grinding in the mill. It was also previously thought that this upgraded camera could increase demand for lens upgrades for the iPhone 16, with more models featuring the new periscope camera.

Now, consistently reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that the new camera module will only come to the highest model of the iPhone 16, just as with the iPhone 15 Ultra. In other words - that demand may not be as big as first thought.

New iPhone camera only coming to top model

As usual, the more expensive the iPhone, the better the kit inside. Ming-Chi Kuo reports that the iPhone 15 Ultra will get the new periscope camera.

As Kuo points out, it was previously thought that the new camera in the iPhone 15 Ultra would move across to more models in the iPhone 16 range, given that there'd be more demand for the enhanced camera. He now reports that the camera will only make its way to a similarly high specced iPhone 16 model, rather than the previously expected two.

The big takeaway for us as best iPhone customers is that we'll still have to pay top buck for the best iPhone camera. For the industry, particularly the lens manufacturing industry, it's a worrying trend - especially if a company has already invested heavily in upgraded Periscope camera lenses. Companies like Largan and Genius, which make iPhone camera lenses, are going to suffer the most, Kuo points out.

A periscope camera, for those wondering, is a mobile phone camera that uses a prism mirror system to enhance the zoom function of the camera. In more technical terms, it extends the focal length by aligning the image sensor and the zoom lens array sideways to one another. If you want to know more about the periscope camera that we could receive in the new iPhone, then check out the Smart Phone Photographers' excellent explainer. It taught us all we know.

Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.