Remember the rumors that Apple is working on a dual-camera setup
for a future iPhone? Well, that future might be as soon as this year, according to the reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo
. According to a research memo he sent out to clients today, the iPhone 7 Plus
will have an extra special version with two rear camera sensors.
Apparently, Apple has shoehorned technology from the Israeli firm LinX, whose acquisition it announced last year
, which allows it to produce high-quality images from relatively small sensors in a multi-lens, multi-aperture configuration with a unique software algorithm. LinX wasn't shy to describe this invention as being able to produce pictures bordering on DSLR quality, especially in low-light scenarios.
Apple's compact optical zoom patent
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple's dual-camera setup for this iPhone 7 Plus
model will include two 12 MP camera sensors from Sony, but one of the lenses will have wider aperture than the other. Here things get a little crazy - the analyst says that one of the camera modules will be equipped with optical image stabilization. So far so good, we have OIS on the 6s Plus now, but he also claims that the other would sport 2-3x optical zoom lens. Apple actually patented such a setup last year
, so this suggestion is not totally out of whack, and will be a true game changer in phone cameras if it materializes.
When it comes to pricing and availability for this camera-centric version, whatever it gets named eventually, Ming-Chi Kuo expects it to account for 25-35% of total iPhone 7
Plus shipments, and we'd wager to guess it would cost more than the regular single-lens model. Samsung is also said to experiment with dual-camera technology
, and is expected to introduce a brand new 12 MP unit with larger sensor
with the Galaxy S7
, so who knows what is in the cards for the Note 6, for instance, if Apple indeed comes out blazing with a dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus