Apple is believed to have struck a deal with a new supplier of telephoto lens components for a periscope camera system in future iPhones, reports The Elec.
On Wednesday, South Korean firm Jahwa Electronics said it plans to spend 191 billion won ($155 million) on building plants to produce new optical image stabilization (OIS) actuators.
According to an earlier report by The Elec, Apple visited Jahwa Electronics’ new facilities during the first half of 2021, and it is “likely” that the investment is being made so that Jahwa can begin supplying Apple with OIS actuators from next year.
Apple usually asks suppliers to build production lines exclusively for its own parts and components, but the new facilities set to be built in Gumi would require Apple’s approval once they’re finished, and the whole process would take a year from now to conclude.
The OIS actuators, which combine OIS and autofocus functions in one, are likely to be for telephoto cameras in 2023 iPhones. The Elec previously linked the components to a periscope camera system, allowing for increased optical zoom.
Rumors about the iPhone getting a periscope lens have been circulating since early 2020, with reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo the first to mention the possibility. Kuo initially said that a periscope lens would be an iPhone 14 Pro feature, but now says he expects the lens type to arrive with the iPhone 15 Pro, a prediction that analyst Jeff Pu has also made.
In a periscope system, light entering the telephoto lens is reflected by an angled mirror towards the camera’s image sensor. The change in direction in which the light travels allows for a longer “folded” telephoto setup inside phones, enabling users to zoom in further without any blurriness.
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