US-based software and technology giant Apple is reportedly considering using three rear cameras in at least one of the iPhones by 2019, according to a report in Taiwanese news portal Economic Daily News.
Citing industry sources, the news report claims that the next iPhone would utilise three 12-megapixel sensors, with the third 12MP lens enabling 5x zoom capabilities. However, the report does not specify 5x zoom as optical, digital or hybrid. In current range of iPhones, the dual cameras manage to achieve 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom.
Even if Apple decides to use three cameras in the next iPhone, it won’t be the first smartphone maker to achieve this feat. Huawei, a Chinese company and world’s third largest mobile phone manufacturer, recently launched the Huawei P20 Pro with three rear-cameras. The phone is capable to take 5x optical zoom shots, along with 960fps slow-mo video recording and artificial intelligence-based auto scene selections.
In 2018, Apple is expected to launch three iPhone models, according to Taiwan-based KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The smartphones are reported to sport screens of sizes between 5.8 inches and 6.2 inches, and different display technologies – OLED and IPS LCD.
According to Digitimes research analyst Luke Lin, Apple would launch an OLED display-based 5.85-inch iPhone that would cost much lower than the iPhone X. According to Lin, who cited information from Apple's upstream supply chain, the next-generation iPhone’s manufacturing bill for materials will be over 10 per cent lower than that for the iPhone X. He added, that the MBOM of the iPhone X was more than US$400 in 2017.
In the past, Lin also alleged that Apple was preparing for a new inexpensive smartphone similar to the iPhone SE for 2018, featuring the wireless charging functionality, but without 3D-sensing technology.