Report suggests Android flagships will soon adopt the camera upgrade featured in iPhone 15 Pro Max

In a recent research note, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International and a long-time Apple tipster, revealed that Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max features innovative hybrid glass-plastic lenses. These lenses, named 1G3P, consist of one part glass and three parts plastic and are particularly notable in the tetraprism periscope camera, providing a 5x optical zoom. Kuo predicts that this technology will soon be adopted by Huawei for its 2024 flagship model, the P70 Art, and may also feature in other Android flagship smartphones.

Kuo believes that the integration of glass-plastic hybrid lenses in these devices will bring transformative shifts within the industry. He foresees a trend towards using moulding/spherical glass in these lenses, replacing lower-quality wafer-level glass. Kuo also suggests that 1G3P lenses may become strong alternatives to 8P lenses, which consist of eight plastic lenses, due to their advantages in terms of reduced height and competitive pricing.

Addressing the cost aspect, Kuo expects the cost of the 1G3P hybrid lens used by Huawei to significantly decrease from $12 in the prototype stage to a range of $6-$7 in mass production as yield rates improve. This cost reduction is enabled by enhanced yields at Largan, a leading manufacturer, which will allow Apple to incorporate the Tetraprism lens into the iPhone 16 Pro in the upcoming year.

Kuo highlights another significant benefit of glass-plastic hybrid lenses: their superior capabilities in rectifying lens deformation caused by the design of compact camera modules (CCM). He envisions a broader adoption of these lenses by other high-end phones, beyond just Apple’s iOS platform and Huawei’s HarmonyOS.

The key players in manufacturing glass-plastic hybrid lenses are currently identified as Largan and Sunny Optical. However, Kuo asserts that Largan has a superior position in this evolving market due to its extensive experience and advantageous position in plastic lenses.