Top analyst repeats his forecast for the 5G iPhone 14 Pro camera array

Top analyst repeats his forecast for the iPhone 14 Pro camera array
Earlier this month Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu told his clients in a note that the iPhone 14 Pro models will sport a 48MP Wide camera. Pu added that both the ultra-wide and telephoto cameras will feature 12MP sensors. Today, TF International's superstar analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note of his own which was obtained by MacRumors.

Kuo calls for a 48MP camera with 4:1 pixel binning for the iPhone 14 Pro phones

Kuo's report was ostensibly for the purpose of recommending the stock of Apple camera lens supplier Largan Precision. Kuo wrote that thanks to upgrades being planned by Apple for the iPhone's cameras over the next two years, Largan should experience a boost in revenue, profits, and market share.

The reliable analyst had previously said that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would feature the 48MP Wide camera and support 8K video recording up from the current 4K.  Furthermore, Kuo said that these 8K videos could be viewed over Apple's upcoming mixed reality (AR/VR) headset that is expected to be released next year.

Kuo's previous note stated that the new camera would deliver both 48MP and 12MP images using 4:1 binning. That is a process that combines the information from four pixels into one. The result is brighter low-light photos with less noise. So on a perfect, bright day, iPhone 14 Pro users would be able to snap 48MP photos. On cloudy days or at night, the camera would use the 4:1 pixel binning to take 12MP photographs.

Many Android manufacturers including Samsung, Motorola, and Xiaomi (just to name a few) have used this technology. In some cases where the primary camera sensor is in triple digits (like 108MP for example), 9:1 pixel binning is employed. And if Kuo and Pu are right, we should see 4:1 pixel binning on the iPhone 14 Pro models.
Kuo also said in his note that at least one iPhone 15 model (due in Q3 of 2023) will have a periscope camera which will provide users with greatly improved optical zoom capabilities. The trick here is the use of  mirrors that reflect light allowing for improved zoom without increasing the size of the phone. The iPhone 13 Pro models offer 3x optical zoom without a periscope architecture.

Apple is changing its iPhone line up starting with the 2022 handsets

Apple is changing its lineup  starting with next year's iPhone 14 series. The mini model is not expected to return after a couple of years and instead, the new lineup creates a strong line between the Pro and non-Pro models. For example, we should see the 6.1-inch iPhone 14, the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone Pro Max. Besides the better camera array found on the Pro models and the ProMotion 120Hz display available with the higher-priced phones, Apple might need to entice buyers next year with a series of features that will only be available on the Pro units.

Those who traditionally go for the larger screen size will have two 6.7-inch options next year in the iPhone Max and the iPhone Pro Max. Obviously, those interested in photography will spend the additional money to go with the Pro model. And the battery life on the Pro Max model is going to be much better. But it remains to be seen whether Apple be able to steer consumers toward the more expensive Pro models next year.

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All four iPhone 14 handsets will be powered by the A16 Bionic chipset which will be manufactured by TSMC using the latter's 4nm process node. Originally it was hoped that the chip would be produced using the 3nm node, but the complexities involved have forced a delay and while TSMC has said that it is back on track, realistically the time window needed for TSMC to use its 3nm process to build the A16 Bionic appears to be very small if not impossible for next year.

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