The iPhone 15 Pro Max's best feature is coming to iPhone 16 Pro

iPhone 15 Plus review
(Image credit: Future)

Another report has reiterated that the iPhone 15 Pro Max's standout optical zoom upgrade is going to filter down to next year's smaller iPhone 16 Pro, bringing the awesome camera to even more users. 

Apple's iPhone 15 Pro Max, which debuted in September, is the company's latest and greatest best iPhone and features a souped-up camera exclusive to this year's largest device. It delivers 5x zoom at 120mm through the telephoto lens, the longest optical zoom ever shipped on an iPhone, and is powered by something Apple calls tetraprism technology. It's that last bit that is expected to feature in both of next year's Pro models, paving the way for 5x on iPhone 16 Pro. 

According to insider and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, "Apple is expected to include a tetraprism camera in the iPhone 16 Pro, another hint that 5x is coming to both Pro models next year. 

A closer look - iPhone 16 Pro

This is very exciting news for "Pro" iPhone customers who missed out on 5x this year because they don't want to buy a larger Pro Max device. The latter is significantly more expensive than the regular Pro and much larger in the hand as well. 

It's not clear why Apple limited 5x zoom to the Pro Max this year. Cost is one option, with the more expensive Pro Max covering the increased manufacturing outlay. Space and battery life are two other possibilities, with the Pro Max's larger chassis lending itself better to new components and the juice needed to power them. According to Kuo in this week's report, Apple's spec upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro Max was "urgent, possibly indicating the 5x zoom was a last-minute decision that precluded its inclusion in the entire lineup. 

Prior to the iPhone 15's announcement, Kuo had previously reported that the iPhone 16 Pro would also get the periscope lens, so we've now heard this story on multiple occasions.  The iPhone 16 Pro should debut in the usual September window next year. If that's too long to wait, the best Black Friday iPhone deal we've seen so far will get you an iPhone 15 Pro Max with a 100% discount from Amazon, and you won't have to wait a year for it. 

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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