Rumor suggests iPhones will get a periscopic telephoto lens by 2023

A new rumor is floating around, focusing on an interesting feature rumored to come to future iPhone models in 2023. The rumor comes from noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note shared with TF Securities clients, Kuo wrote that iPhones would adopt a periscopic telephoto lens in 2023.

The analyst didn't share any details on what to expect from the new Apple camera tech. Apple has been rumored to be at work on a periscopic lens for a while to bring improvements in optical zoom capability. Previously, Kuo had stated he expected Apple to adopt the new lens technology by 2022.

It appears he is pushing that back with his latest research note. Apple is a bit behind the times when it comes to camera technology in its high-end iPhone models. Other smartphone makers, such as Huawei, already use periscope lens technology. Specifically, the Huawei P30 Pro features a periscope lens with five times optical zoom.

Presumably, when Apple adopts the tech, it will bring similar zoom capabilities. IPhone models do currently have optical zoom, but it maxes out at 2.5 times optical zoom and 12 times digital zoom. Along with the rumor about a periscope lens for 2023, Kuo also believes that the 2021 iPhone models will feature a new Face ID transmitter constructed of plastic rather than glass.

One mystery about that change is if there will be some sort of improvement by using the new material or if it will merely save Apple money. 2021 iPhone models on the high-end of the range are rumored to get an upgraded telephoto lens with Apple moving from a five-element lens to a six-element lens. High-end iPhone models in 2022 will receive a seven-element lens, according to Kuo, with improvements in telephoto functionality. The analyst also predicts in 2022 Apple will use a new unibody lens design that will reduce the size of the front camera module.