Apple to introduce tetraprism telephoto lens in iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max models in 2024

Although the launch date for the next-generation iPhone 16 is still a distant point on the calendar, rumors are already buzzing. Recent speculation suggesting the inclusion of a tetraprism lens for the iPhone 16 Pro gains more traction as another source supports the claim.

According to MacRumors, Apple is set to unveil the latest telephoto camera featuring an innovative tetraprism design in the pro models of the iPhone 16 series. Following its debut in the iPhone 15 Pro Max, this technology is anticipated to grace both the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max in 2024.

In the current lineup, the iPhone 15 Pro missed out on the new tetraprism telephoto camera, likely due to spatial constraints. The components required for this advanced camera take up considerably more space than the current telephoto camera, making it incompatible with the smaller device. As a reference, the Pro model features a 6.1-inch display, while the Pro Max boasts a larger 6.7-inch display.

With the iPhone 16 Pro models, Apple is looking to upsize the devices, with the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max displays measuring approximately 6.3-inch and 6.9-inch, respectively. This expansion provides the necessary room for the new tetraprism telephoto camera, a change corroborated by internal documentation seen by MacRumors.

The documentation also reveals that the camera module design for the iPhone 16 Pro closely resembles the one used in the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and confirms the presence of the tetraprism components.

However, it’s crucial to note that the provided information is pre-production, and the hardware on final mass-production units may differ. After all, if you look at the date, you will see that September 2024, when the iPhone 16 is expected to debut, is still months away, so changes are always possible.

Tetraprism lens

The iPhone 15 Pro Max marked a significant milestone as the first iPhone equipped with a periscope lens (a type of telephoto lens). Traditional telephoto lenses achieve their zoom capabilities by extending their focal length. This, however, can make them bulky and impractical for smartphones. The tetraprism lens, on the other hand, uses a clever optical design that allows for significant zoom without increasing its physical length.

Inside the tetraprism lens, light enters a series of four prisms that bend and redirect it toward the image sensor. This arrangement effectively doubles the lens’s focal length, allowing for a 5x optical zoom without the need for a bulky design.

The tetraprism lens also offers several other advantages over traditional telephoto ones. It can reduce chromatic aberration, a type of lens distortion that causes color fringing around objects. Additionally, it can allow more light to reach the image sensor, resulting in sharper and more detailed images, especially in low-light conditions.

In short, the tetraprism lens is a game-changer for smartphone photography, offering significant zoom capabilities without compromising image quality. It’s an exciting technology that is poised to revolutionize mobile photography in the years to come.