According to reports, Apple might be looking to use components made by Samsung for its periscope zoom camera on iPhones that will launch in 2022.
A folded zoom camera is quite similar to a telephoto camera where the light absorbed by the image sensor is bent (or folded) to let the cameras become thinner. This phenomenon helps in minimizing the camera’s protrusion in smartphones. Optical zooms over 3x can use the folded zoom technology.
Periscope zoom lens might be part of the 2022 iPhone
The components required for the periscope zoom lens will be supplied by Samsung Electro-Mechanics to LG InnoTek, which is a long-time supplier of camera modules for Apple. LG will use those components to build the folded zoom camera module that they can supply to Apple.
Oppo, Samsung, and Huawei all have implemented this technology in their flagship smartphones. Galaxy S20 Ultra features the folded zoom module provided by Samsung Electro-Mechanics. Apple is expected to apply this technology somewhere in 2022 to 2033 according to The Elec.
Apple is behind in patents regarding actuators, and the company is currently using springs to move the lens barrel which falls behind in speed and accuracy to ball guides. However, Samsung uses ball guide actuators for its folded zoom camera. The ball guide method is more durable and requires less power.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo first mentioned the possibility of Apple using a periscope zoom lens in the 2022 iPhone back in March. There have been a few rumors regarding this subject since then. It will greatly improve the optical zoom capability of iPhone and most definitely exceed the 2x and 2.5x optical zooms that the current iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max provide. Huawei P40 Pro+ carries a periscope lens that gives up to 10x optical zoom.
If Apple does intend to make the deal happen, C-level meetings between Apple and Samsung Electro-Mechanics would be required to ‘iron out the deal’.
For now, it is quite early to talk about what could happen in the next two years. Development for these features take many years and things can quickly change in the technology industry.