Dual cameras will be exclusive to Apple's next-generation 5.5-inch iPhone, according to a new research note issued by respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
New iPhone shipments to be capped by similar form factor as iPhone 6s & 6s Plus; top hardware upgrade is dual-camera (5.5-inch model only), though many competing models with dual-camera will launch soon, joining others already on the market; first impressions could underwhelm.
Rumors surrounding dual-camera iPhones have gained momentum since January, when Kuo said that Apple has both single- and dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus models in development. Recent reports have been unclear, however, about whether the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 will also have dual cameras.
Leaks surrounding the rumored dual cameras have been limited to a blurry photo of the purported iPhone 7 Plus (or iPhone Pro?) and a possible dual-lens module appropriate for the 5.5-inch smartphone. Apple reportedly received dual-lens camera samples from suppliers for testing purposes in February.
The rumored camera improvements have been linked to Apple's acquisition of LinX Technology, which could lead to "DSLR-quality" photos on iPhones. LinX's multi-aperture cameras are also smaller sized than single-aperture cameras, meaning the iPhone 7 Plus could have a slightly less protruding camera lens.
LinX camera modules have a number of other benefits, including 3D depth mapping, better color accuracy and uniformity, ultra HDR, low noise levels, higher resolution, low costs, zero shutter lag, and a compact design that allows for edge-to-edge displays. A recent video demo provides a good overview of dual-camera technology.
Apple recently patented a dual-camera system consisting of one standard wide-angle lens, similar to what is found in the latest iPhones, and a second telephoto lens capable of capturing zoomed-in video and photos. In a recent video, we visualized what the interface could look like on future iOS devices.