15/05 Update below. This post was originally published on May 13
Legally, Apple’s most contentious iPhone 15 upgrade is likely to be its locked-down implementation of USB-C. But for iPhone fans, a new leak has all but confirmed the biggest shock on their release will be the cameras.
Respected leaker Unknownz21 states they have: “Finally received independent confirmation of this: Periscope lens will be available exclusively on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.”
This rumor has been circulated for months, but few took it seriously, given it would frustrate iPhone buyers to see the feature set of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max split for the first time. Aside from battery life, the Pro and Pro Max have always been on par, with the purchase decision typically made based on size preference.
That now looks set to change with the iPhone 15 lineup, and fans of smaller phones will either be forced to miss out on the very best features or buy a smartphone far bigger than they would like.
On the plus side (pun unintended), a periscope camera has been an increasingly obvious omission from the iPhone lineup, and the Pro Max will address this. Rivals, most notably the Galaxy S23 Ultra, have gone big on a combination of periscope lenses and digital zoom, with Samsung’s flagship able to produce up to 100x of zoom with increasingly solid results.
In Apple’s defense, rivals are typically limiting their periscope lenses to their biggest phones. Why? Most likely, it is a space issue, and while Apple has consistently overcome space limitations with the iPhone Pro in terms of thermal performance and battery life, it may simply be that the iPhone 15 Pro cannot physically squeeze in the new periscope lens. Consequently, 2023 looks set to be the year that iPhone buyers will have to go big if they want all the best features.
Moreover, sales of the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 13 Mini showed that support for the smaller smartphones was vociferous but not on the scale many assumed, so it may not be Apple’s hardest sell. Especially for those also tempted by the Pros’ super slim bezels, next-gen A17 chip and shift to USB-C.
That said, with iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max prices both expected to rise, expect howls of derision from commentators if the Pro Max does indeed break feature parity after so many years and ‘iPhone 15 Pro-ish’ memes to explode.
15/05 Update: more iPhone 15 camera news has leaked. In a new research note seen by MacRumors, well-known Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu states that iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models will be equipped with a new 48-megapixel rear camera. But it isn’t all good news.
Pu says that Apple is facing yield issues that “could result in iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus production delays.” That said, both devices are still expected to launch in September, alongside the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Interestingly, Pu states that the lens of the 48-megapixel camera will use a new three-stacked sensor to capture more light, a critical element for improving image quality. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max launched with a 48-megapixel primary camera last year, but it is unclear how many components the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus share, given the yield issues.
One of the main benefits of last year’s 48MP camera is that it introduced support for ProRAW photos, Apple’s take on RAW files, which retain more image detail (at much larger file sizes) and use less image processing, something which provides greater flexibility during editing. Whether ProRAW will come to standard iPhone 15 models remains to be seen, given Apple’s reluctance to pass down other Pro-branded features like ProMotion.
More on Forbes
MORE FROM FORBESNew iPhone 15 Exclusive Confirms Massive Apple Design DecisionBy Gordon Kelly
The post New Apple Leak Confirms iPhone 15 Release Shock first appeared on www.forbes.com