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It’s possible that iPhone 14 will be the recipient of my most urgent request.

Is a super zoom powered by a periscope in the works?

I’m quite enthusiastic about the possibility of a larger optical zoom in Apple’s next iPhone 14, and I can’t wait to see it. There are still a few months until the 2022 iPhone 14 models are ready to ship, but because these smartphones are expected to receive considerable changes, we’ve been hearing rumors about them since even before the iPhone 13 models were released.

iphone 14
(Image credit: Apple) and imaging-resources. anticipated iPhone 14

There’s reason to suspect Apple is planning to include an ultra-zoom camera in the next iPhone (above the present 3X).

Some of the upcoming iPhones could include a titanium frame, as well as a revised speaker and microphone grilles. Apple may also employ a new vapor chamber thermal system to keep the iPhone cooler in order to mitigate the effects of quicker CPUs and 5G connections.

According to TheElec camera module maker Jahwa Electronics, which builds modules that combine optical image stabilization (OIS) and autofocus, Apple was given a grand tour of the South Korean company’s Gumi facilities, and Jahwa is now spending 191 billion won on a brand new production line to support a new device.

Granted, the Apple tour and a new facility don’t always equal Apple iPhone 14 Pro ultra or superzoom, but I’m ready to read the tea leaves. It’s not just me, either.

Jahwa supplies camera modules to Samsung, according to 9to5Mac, and Jahwa’s technologies are frequently employed in support of a periscope camera system.

What is the significance of the periscope?

periscope
sample periscope view/power for Samsung Galaxy S22 ultra

Apple hit the physical limitations of linear lens technology with the iPhone 13 Pro, offering only 3X optical zoom while competitors like Samsung accomplish 10X.

The only method to achieve that zoom level is to extend the distance between the smartphone’s lens and the sensor.

Samsung solved the problem by including a pericope design into the phone, which transmits the picture from the lens through a prism, where it turns 90 degrees to travel a greater distance down to a sensor on the phone’s top edge.

Apple won’t be able to get past the 3X (or possibly 5X) optical zoom barrier without adopting similar technologies. While Apple won’t create it on its own, working with a third-party provider makes sense. Apple also expects bespoke designs and manufacture from its partners, which brings us back to the new Jahwa manufacturing site.

iPhone 14: It is possible that it will fail

Will Jahwa be able to establish that plant in time to offer camera modules with periscope technology for the iPhone 14 launch in September or October 2022? Most industry analysts, including famed industry oracle Ming-Chi Kuo, believe a periscope-equipped iPhone won’t arrive until 2023.

Still, an iPhone lover can dream, and to be honest, I’m not sure Apple can afford to wait another year while competitors like Samsung gain ground on optical zoom.

Zooming in affects more than just optical options. As Samsung has demonstrated, once you have a longer optical zoom lens, you can combine it with clever AI and picture algorithms to create Space Zoom.

I was astounded by what I could shoot with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 30X and 100X Space Zoom when I tested it early this year. Without the 10X optical zoom as a foundation, none of that would have been feasible. (An example can be seen in the image above.)

Apple has traditionally had the best image processing in the business. Consider what it could achieve with a 10X optical zoom supported by a periscope.

By the way, when you increase the zoom level, the support of auto-focus and optical image stabilization, which Jahwa brings to the table, becomes increasingly important. Higher magnification – both optical and digital – magnifies every small movement and handshake tenfold, and without OIS and auto-focus, all your zoom shots could end up looking fuzzy.

It’s far from certain that an Apple iPhone 14 Pro with periscope-supported zoom will be released this year or next, but all the parts appear to be fitting into place, and I believe Apple recognizes that it’s time to step up its zoom game.

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