The iPhone 15 Pro Max has one of the coolest exclusive features for some time — the tetraprism lens that ups physical zoom to 5X. In fact, beyond the size of the device, it's one of the main reasons that you might want to go for the Max model this year; And it’s now already rumored to be coming to the next Pro model of iPhone.
As with every year, the iPhone rumor mill continues a’ grindin’, shifting attention from the iPhone 15 models to the iPhone 16. This new rumor is no big surprise, with features often trickling down to lower models the year after they debut — but what does it mean for the iPhone 15 Pro Max?
Tetraprism coming to more devices
Brought to attention by the ever-reliable Ming-Chi Kuo, it looks like the iPhone 16 Pro will get the tetraprism zoom lens, along with the iPhone 16 Pro Max. This will not affect the iPhone 15 Pro Max — if you want the bigger lens this year, then you’ll still need to go for the bigger handset.
The tetraprism lens, for a while rumored to be called the periscope lens, is a series of different lenses that bounce light around so that closer zoom can be achieved in the camera. The iPhone 15 Pro Max, for example, has a 5x zoom lens while the iPhone 15 Pro only goes to 3x. That’s a pretty good improvement.
More zoooom: iMore’s take
Is it really any surprise that the next Pro iPhone is going to get the Pro Max’s exclusive feature? There is precedent, after all. The iPhone 15 got last year's Pro features in the form of a 48MP camera and dynamic Island, and then flagship models that have inherited the previous Pro model's chipsets.
As for the validity of the rumor, it comes from Kuo, who has an excellent track record of predicting iPhone features. The 3nm chip in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max for example, amongst other things.
Does this mean you should pass over the iPhone 15 Pro Max for next year's upgrade? No. The tetraprism lens is the reason to pick this year’s Pro Max, and there’s not much point putting it off on the off chance that the iPhone 16 Pro is better. If you’re really worried then get on board with the iPhone upgrade program — that way you’ll be able to upgrade as soon as the iPhone 16 Pro arrives.
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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.