Over the years there have been many folded camera/periscope camera lens system related patents (01, 02, 03, 04 and more) and rumors like this one in 2021 titled “LG Innotek reportedly secures a deal with Apple for a future Periscope Lens for iPhone while advancing Liquid Lens Technology.” The timeline for an iPhone was roughly 2023. Today, a new report provides us with some deeper insight into the iPhone’s roadmap and adoption of a periscope lens that will deliver superior zoom capabilities.
Today, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo made several predictions about Apple’s adoption of a periscope lens for the 2023 iPhone 15 and 2024 iPhone 16 as follows:
The main beneficiaries of iPhone’s adoption of periscope will be:
- LG Innotek (VCM & CCM): the supplier of high-ASP CCM and vertical integration thanks to the entry into VCM/sensor shift supply.
- Cowell (CCM): the supplier for high-ASP CCM, with a large room for future growth due to a low base.
- Jahwa (VCM): iPhone’s new supplier, benefiting from high-ASP VCM/sensor shift.
- Largan (Lens): Likely to be the sole or main supplier of high-ASP lens modules in the initial stage thanks to its technical advantages.
- Lante Optics (prism): Likely to be the sole or main supplier of high-ASP prism in the initial stage thanks to its technical advantages.
The telephoto camera of iPhone will use a periscope design from 2023. The models that adopt a periscope are:
- 2H23 new iPhone: iPhone 15 Pro Max.
- 2H24 new iPhone: iPhone 16 Pro Max and iPhone 16 Pro.
- The main specifications of the periscope for iPhone 15 and iPhone 16 are similar, including 1/3" 12MP, f/2.8, sensor-shift support, and 5–6x optical zoom.
Kuo further notes that “the cost of components still depends on the yield rate before mass production. Based on the cost structure of the existing periscope, thanks to iPhone 15 Pro Max’s adoption of the periscope, the YoY growth of component’s total output value for 2H23 new iPhone (iPhone 15 series) rear camera, including CIS, VCM, lens, and CCM, will increase by 5–10%, 20–25%, 65–70%, and 20–25%, respectively.
Benefiting from more iPhone 16 models adopting the periscope and other rear camera upgrades, the total output value of the rear camera components of the 2H24 new iPhone (iPhone 16 series), including CIS, VCM, lens, and CCM, will increase by 15–20%, 15–20%, 40–45%, and 15–20% YoY, respectively.
Apple’s iPhone will adopt the prism for the first time, so it is the spotlight in the periscope supply chain. The iPhone prism output value’s YoY growth will reach 150–200% in 2024. Each periscope camera uses two prisms, which reflect light and create a longer light path for optical zoom.
Among all components, lens specifications, and business models have changed the most, and output value has grown the most. The complete periscope lens module includes a high-ASP 1G2P lens, two high-ASP prisms, and a lens barrel. The high-ASP materials are keys to boosting the output value. Apple’s lens supplier will provide more complicated assembly services for the first time, so Largan and Genius are expanding their production capacity in Taichung and Xiamen to meet this order.”