Some say Apple is a trend setter while others will point out how there are times when it was the one chasing after others. This new rumor might put it again in the latter position but Apple always has a knack for coming out at the top. According to supply chain reports, next year’s iPhone might sport three camera lenses instead of the usual too, just like how the Huawei P20 Pro already does today. It is still unclear, however, what that third camera will bring to the table, if it ever does come to the party.
The Economic Daily News isn’t exactly a fount of accurate leaks, so take it with a grain of salt. To some extent, it might make sense given other rumors in the market, though a third lens might sound a bit overkill, especially for the usually conservative Apple.
What Apple is certain to do, at least in the near future, is equip its rear cameras with the same 3D technology as its True Depth Face ID sensors. Not for Animojis or face recognition, mind, but for augmented reality purposes. But if the report is correct, this time-of-flight (ToF) sensors will, instead, be replaced by three lenses on an upcoming iPhone model.
That’s pretty much where details about the cameras get a bit murky. The role that the third lens will play isn’t yet known. One possibility is that it will be used to achieve 5x optical zoom while the other two cameras will be for stereo vision, a.k.a. 3D. It could also be used as a range-finder instead.
Whether it will help in improving picture quality is also still a big question mark. Huawei boasts of how its P20 Pro’s three cameras enabled it to achieve the highest DxOMark score so far. Of course, not everyone subscribes to that benchmark and still regard the iPhone X’s two cameras to be perfect as they are.