iPhone 14 Pro Camera Upgrade Could Come With A Price Shock

Apple is all set to announce the next generation of iPhones at its "Far Out" event scheduled for a week from now. The much-awaited September 7 event will likely be the venue for the launch of four new iPhone models, including the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Max, and the top-end iPhone 14 Pro Max. In addition to refreshing Apple's smartphone lineup, the event could also see the debut of a couple of other Apple products. A major change to Apple's iPhone strategy this time is the likely cancelation of the iPhone Mini — Apple's small-screened smartphone.

Like every year, there has been no lack of iPhone-related rumors in 2022. While we usually filter out outrageous (and unlikely) rumors from dubious sources, we do heed trustworthy analysts with excellent track records. Take the case of noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has been making Apple-centric predictions for as long as we can remember. Given how accurate Ming-Chi Kuo has been in the past, everyone remotely interested in upcoming Apple products pays heed to what he says in his tweets.

In a recent tweet thread, Kuo makes several interesting observations about the camera setup on the iPhone 14 Pro lineup.

Improved ultra-wide camera to make the iPhone 14 Pro more expensive?

According to Kuo, Apple is likely to replace the ultra-wide camera on the iPhone 14 Pro series with a larger sensor. This sensor also boasts a bigger pixel size (1.4µm pixels) compared to the outgoing models, which had a pixel size of just 1.0µm. On paper, this should translate to better low-light sensitivity and a reduction in noise levels. While all this sounds great for the camera capabilities of the iPhone 14 lineup, these improvements could also drive up the prices of these phones. The main culprits behind this impending cost increase are three key camera components; in his thread, Kuo refers to the "CIS (image sensor), VCM (voice coil motor), and CCM (camera module)" specifically. On the iPhone 14, each of these modules has witnessed a price jump of "about 70%, 45%, and 40%, respectively," according to Kuo. 

Strange as it may sound, a similar price hike doesn't seem to be happening with the rest of the camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro. This is despite the fact that the iPhone 14 Pro series may feature camera upgrades across the board. The primary wide-angle sensor on the iPhone 14 Pro, for instance, is rumored to feature a 1/1.3-inch sensor this year compared to the older 1/1.65-inch sensor on the iPhone 13 Pro models. The cost of this improved sensor hasn't changed much despite boasting several improvements.

With just a week left for the iPhone 14 series to arrive, we don't need to wait too long to see if Apple decides to pass the increased cost of the improved ultrawide sensor onto consumers.