Each new iteration of the iPhone tends to pack camera improvements as Apple continues to push the limits of smartphone photography. However, Apple has lagged behind when it comes to telephoto zoom lens capabilities. Some Android phones offer 3x zoom and up to 10x in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which uses a periscope camera.
A few months back, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple is working on bringing a periscope camera to the iPhone lineup in 2022. However, he recently (via MacRumors) stated that more than likely, a periscope camera won't actually arrive until 2023.
- iPhone 12 Pro vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Which should you buy?
- Best cell phone deals in March 2021
- iPhone 12 review
Don't be disappointed, though, Apple folks; according to Kuo, there will be other iPhone camera improvements. Kuo believes there will be upgrades to the telephoto camera from a 5-element lens to a 6-element one in 2021, and in 2022, there will be another upgrade to a 7-element lens.
According to Kuo, the front-facing camera should also see an upgrade in the form of a "unibody lens design" that will make the front camera module smaller. There have also been many rumors of Apple using a behind-the-screen camera in upcoming iPhones.
Lastly, Kuo mentioned that the rumored Apple AR headset might be coming next year. The headset will supposedly use 15 camera modules to aid with the AR experience. Kuo also stated that while the current prototypes weigh between 200 and 300 grams. Apple will bring that down below 200 grams for its final production units. Kuo thinks the units will cost around $1,000 and come with micro-OLED displays.