Taiwanese lens company Largan will supply the periscope lens that will be exclusively used in the iPhone 15 Pro Max, says a recent note from Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Kuo first mentioned the possibility of a periscope lens for the iPhone in early 2020. The analyst initially said the iPhone receiving the lens would be the iPhone 14 Pro, but that did not come to pass. Since then, both Kuo and analyst Jeff Pu have said the lens will be an iPhone 15 Pro Max exclusive.
The periscope system would allow light entering the telephoto lens on the back of the iPhone to be reflected by an angled mirror toward the camera’s image sensor. That would allow Apple to fit a longer telephoto setup inside the iPhone, allowing users to zoom in closer without any blurriness.
Kuo says Apple camera lens suppliers face two risks: high inventory levels leading to a weaker-than-expected 2Q23 and suppliers being unable to profit from periscope camera lenses.
Kuo says the average selling price for Largan’s shipped periscope camera lenses is approximately $4 (including the prisms), which is a notably lower price than the market consensus of $4.50 to $5 or higher. Kuo claims that the $4 price means Largan cannot profit from the periscope camera lens.
Kuo also believes both iPhone 16 Pro models in 2024 will use the same or similar periscope lens as the one used in the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Apple supplier Genius could start supplying periscope lenses for the iPhone 16, said Kuo, at which point the component’s price will be even lower, negatively impacting lens suppliers.