Better zoom for the iPhone: According to an analyst, Apple only costs four US dollars

It is a long-cherished wish of many iPhone owners: With the iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple could – if the rumors are true – for the first time offer a tenfold optical zoom or even more. For this to work, you need a so-called periscope lens. But anyone who thinks that Apple will have to incur considerable expenses for this may be mistaken, at least according to a well-known analyst from the Far East. Apparently Apple even only costs 4 US dollars per lens thanks to tough negotiations.

Currently, a triple magnification level is the highest of feelings with Apple’s iPhones – at least in the optical area. If you zoom digitally, you can enlarge even more, but at the expense of the image quality. The problem for the manufacturers of the usually very flat smartphones is that a better zoom lens would take up a lot of space vertically. Even the slightly protruding cameras, the so-called camera bump, are too much of a good thing for some iPhone users.

A periscope lens solves the problem with a trick. The light in the lens is deflected from the vertical to the horizontal via a prism. This gives the component more space without making the device thicker. Taiwan-based analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who researches Apple’s supply chain for new insights into future business relationships for his employer TF International Securities, reports that the Taiwan-based company Largan Precision is to manufacture the periscope lens for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. With the iPhone 16, the competitor Genius Electronic Optical, also based in Taiwan, should come into play.

Times are not rosy for lens manufacturers, Kuo writes in a blog post. Apple’s demand from manufacturers has dropped significantly. This can partly be explained by the fact that the next iPhone generation is approaching in the fall and that sales will also decrease somewhat. However, there are deeper reasons for the drop of 35 to 40 percent in lens orders compared to the previous quarter. At the same time last year, there was significantly more demand. There was also recent news about Apple’s declining display orders.

However, the situation may strengthen Apple’s negotiating position, as suppliers are now grasping at straws. Kuo says that Largan makes almost no profit with the low price of the periscope lens. Apparently, the company only wants to stay in business by accepting the order and is speculating on more lucrative large orders in the future. It remains to be seen whether consumers can hope for the iPhone price to remain at least as high in the fall. Recently there have been rumors that Apple wants to raise prices.

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