Apple to adopt a massive 48MP camera sensor for the iPhone 14 series, kill the iPhone mini

Ming-Chi Kuo: 48MP camera with 8K video recording coming to the iPhone in 2022
Prolific Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo has come around with a new series of rumors and expectations about the iPhone crop slated for 2022, AppleInsider reports. This coincides with another Kuo-originating leak claiming Face ID could become embedded beneath the display and see the notch ditched as soon as 2023.

iPhone 14 camera

As per the analyst's latest reveals, Apple is likely planning a massive camera upgrade for the iPhone 14 family. Notably, a massive 1/1.3-inch 48MP camera sensor, the largest ever on an iPhone, is expected to grace next year's Apple top-tier flagship, which will most likely carry the iPhone 14 Pro Max name.

The main wide-angle camera is the most likely to benefit from the larger sensor first, though the improved camera tech would certainly trickle down to the auxiliary ultra-wide and telephoto cameras in subsequent iPhones down the line.

"We believe that the new 2H22 iPhone may support direct 48MP output and 12MP (four cells merge output mode) output simultaneously," says Ming-Chi Kuo. "With 12MP output, the CIS pixel size of the new 2H22 iPhone increases to about 2.5um, which is significantly larger than the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, and larger than existing Android phones, and close to the DSC level."

This would be the largest camera sensor ever fitted on an iPhone. Thanks to quad pixel-binning should provide superb low-light image quality that would play extremely well with the iPhone's Night mode. It looks like Sony will be supplying the new larger sensors, whereas LG will be tasked with the production of the camera modules themselves.

What's more, the new sensor will allow for 8K video capture with the main camera. At the moment, iPhones can only capture up to 4K video at 60 fps, and judging from Kuo's insights, we shouldn't be seeing a bump in video capture resolution this year. Yet, that's okay: 4K video at 60fps is a standard that's likely to stick for now.

Read more:iPhone 12 Pro Max camera comparison

The iPhone's near future

All of these nifty camera improvements will however result into increased costs for Apple, which are likely to trickle down to the end-user. It's logical to expect that only the top-end iPhone 14 Pro Max will get the new and improved camera tech first, so we probably shouldn't expect a steep price hike across all the range just yet.

Finally, Kuo expects Apple to ditch the iPhone mini lineup come 2022. The reasons are seemingly obvious: the disappointing sales of the iPhone 12 mini as well Apple's likely desire to further simplify its iPhone portfolio lineup.

This doesn't mean the iPhone 13 wouldn't come with a smaller notch: we still expect Apple to introduce a smaller notch across the 2021 lineup, and some recent leaks and renders corroborate that. 

Some other iPhone 13 specs claim a 5nm Apple Bionic chipset, LTPO OLED display with variable refresh rate, improved portrait mode, as well as larger F1.8 aperture for the ultra-wide camera. That, and a rumored return of the Touch ID could be some of the highlights of 2021's iPhone lineup: supposedly, we will see a fingerprint scanner embedded within the display of the iPhone 13 to complement Face ID and biometrics even better. 

Much better battery management and device power consumption could also be a pretty important key feature of the iPhone 13. Thanks to the improved display which would consume 15 to 20% less battery than the current iPhones, the iPhone 13 will be reportedly up to 15% more efficient as a whole. This would play well with the better efficiency of the Apple A15 Bionic chip and lead to even better battery endurance on the iPhone 13 family.

To learn more about the upcoming iPhone 13 family, make sure to check out our constantly-updated Apple iPhone 13 guide.

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