TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo sent out a research note to clients on Friday. The Apple
analyst has an admirable record when it comes to forecasting new Apple product releases and any changes being made to existing devices. According to AppleInsider
, Kuo's note says that Apple doesn't plan to make any major updates to its camera lenses until 2023. That would be the year when Apple would be expected to release the iPhone 15.
Last year, Apple included a 7P lens with the wide camera on the iPhone 12 series
models. That was an improvement from the 6P lens used on the iPhone 11 and allowed Apple to bring the aperture on the current models to f/1.6 from f/1.8 on the 2019 phones. As a result, the quality of pictures snapped in low-light conditions is improved. In fact, with the 7 element lens the Wide camera on the iPhone 12 delivers a 27% improvement in light gathering. There is speculation that next year's iPhones will add 7P to the telephoto lens and the following year we could see 7P employed on all three rear cameras on the "Pro" models. This is just speculation, which we need to point out.
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Kuo sees Apple suppliers Largan and Genius Electronics battling to win the majority of Apple's lenses business. As a result, both companies will use price as a way to win over Apple's affections. As Kuo stated in his research note, "Our latest survey pointed out that Largan will increase the average capacity utilization rate of 1H21 from 50-55% to more than 70%, and will further bargain the ASP of mid-to-high-end iPhone lenses by about 15-25%. We believe that this price war will have a direct negative impact on Genius' 1H21 order proportion, capacity utilization rate and gross profit margin."
A new supplier will join the club next year. Sunny Optical will deliver 5P lenses for 2021 iPad models and 7P lenses for 2021 iPhone models. Sunny will reportedly have 10% of the lenses share for the iPad and 15%-20% for the iPhone. Kuo says that things will look even sunnier for Sunny the following year when it could boost production by 50% That would put tremendous pressure on current suppliers Largan and Genius.
Last year, Kuo predicted that Apple will use a periscope camera for the iPhone 14's telescopic camera.