It feels like only yesterday that Apple revealed the iPhone 15 to us at its annual WWDC conference earlier this year. However, for those inside Apple Park, the success of the brand's latest smartphone lineup is the culmination of years of hard work and planning.
It's that foresight and long-term planning that ensures the iPhone remains a success for years to come, and we're already beginning to come across information about Apple's future smartphone releases in the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 17 Pro Max.
A lens to the future
According to one industry analyst, Apple's latest plans for the iPhone include some major upgrades to its camera array which could further bolster its place has a solid companion to the upcoming Vision Pro headset, even if that device is seen by many as the Cupertino brand's first steps into a post-iPhone world.
As reported by MacRumors, a research note focusing on Largan Precision, the worlds premiere manufacturer and supplier of smartphone camera lenses, has seen analyst Jeff Pu claim that Apple's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel (MP) Telephoto camera. This is a massive upgrade considering that the iPhone 15 Pro's Telephoto option is limited to just 12MP.
While this refresh would bring the Telephoto lens in line with the iPhone 15's main shooter, it would leave the iPhone's ultrawide lens trailing behind at a lower resolution. That is, if earlier in the year we hadn't already heard about the iPhone 16 Pro's 48MP boost in that area also.
With the way iPhone upgrades are incremental improvements, there's a real claim that by the iPhone 17, the Pro Max model could be outfitted with a triple camera array, with wide, ultrawide and Telephoto all being 48MP.
This wouldn't just be good news for iPhone owners either, as the even 48MP spread would also make good for Vision Pro owners too. We already know how Apple is making use of the smartphone's main and ultrawide cameras to record side-by-side 3D video, so the bump in resolution will only further improve the results captured and lead to even more vivid results within the headset itself.
It seems incredibly early to be hearing word about these models. But as mentioned, an Apple product is the result of years of planning and prototyping before it's ready to take a seat on store shelves.
Still, that prototyping leaves times for plans to change, and this could change too. However, according to Pu, Apple are currently expecting this to be the roadmap for the iPhone camera array for at least the next two major releases – and that still leaves room for the main shooter to receive a healthy boost also. Though, how much of a limit Apple place on its main lens would remain to be seen.
Either way, to see this plan play out in its entirety, we could be waiting until Sept. 2025 to see the full 48MP array arrive to iPhone 17 Pro models. That's some time off, and leaves plenty of room for Apple to switch things up.
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Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.