Rumors of Apple adopting a dual lens camera that could provide DSLR quality has been floating around since last November. The rumor resurfaced on January 13 on the G for Games blog. Today, DigiTimes reports that digital camera ODM Altek has developed dual-lens solutions for smartphone cameras for "international smartphone vendors," and expects adoption of such solutions to significantly increase, according to the company.
Altek states that "With Apple likely to adopt dual-lens camera modules for its next-generation iPhone, such camera solutions stand a good chance of seeing quick penetration into the high-end smartphone market segment in 2016-2017."
When an Original Design Manufacturer in Asia uses Apple in their sales line, you know that there are strong murmurs within the Asian supply chain that Apple is working on such a solution for a future iPhone. Of course Apple acquired Israeli firm LinX back in April that could lead the way to DSLR performance in future iPhones.
LinX technology allows apps to freely use the 3D information captured by their camera to achieve amazing new features such as the ability to refocus an image after it has been captured, measurement of the true dimensions of objects, 3D object modeling and real time background replacement for video calls.
Intel's RealSense 3D camera could already be found on a tablet from Dell and will be found on some smartphones in Q4 as Intel's CEO Brian M. Krzanich revealed during their IDF 2015 event held in Shenzhen, China this past April.
On this same subject, a new report from a leading Korean technology site today states that "As major Smartphone businesses such as Apple and Samsung Electronics chose dual-camera as their next-generation technologies, there is a lot of stir in relevant downstream industries.
There is a lot of stir because there is an increased demand for not just camera modules, but relevant materials and parts such as lenses, AF actuators, and filters, and mobile D Ram and semiconductors. It is expected that relevant market will grow even bigger from now on because even lesser Smartphone businesses such as China and others are starting to secure dual-camera technologies.
Apple bough Israeli business called Linx Computational Imaging for 20 million dollars last April. This company has special sensor and image processor technologies, which is why Apple chose to buy this company to secure dual-camera technologies according to experts’ analysis. Multi-aperture imaging combination technology is needed to raise dual-camera’s performance.
Samsung Electronics also focused on dual-camera as its next-generation technology. Processor that can process dual-image signal was built in for the first time on newly released ‘Exynos7420’, and this can be seen as a prior plan to install dual-camera functions hereafter." So the race to deliver dual lens camera systems is really heating up.
Of course Apple isn't always first with a new technology, so there's no guarantee that Apple's next generation 3D dual lens camera will make it into this year's iPhone update in September.
Yet with the rumors getting ever louder, we know it's only a matter of time before Apple introduces their latest technology that will most definitely represent the biggest leap in iDevice cameras to date. Will we see it in 2015 or 2016? Only time will tell.