Patently Apple has posted two patent reports in 2021 (01 & 02) thus far regarding a periscope camera lens system so as to advance the iPhone’s zoom power significantly to compete with likes of a Samsung’s S21 Ultra smartphone. Our January report noted that The Elec reported in late 2020 that Apple could decide to use Samsung parts for a folded lens zoom in 2022.
Today we’re learning that “Samsung Electro-Mechanics said yesterday that it was supplying its 10x optical zoom folded camera module to a global smartphone manufacturer.” There was no time frame provided. Could this confirm The Elec’s late 2020 rumor?
Considering that Samsung Electronics already uses the Samsung Electro-Mechanics periscope camera, the “global smartphone manufacturer” could certainly include Apple who is far behind Samsung on this one particular camera capability.
Last month we reported on C/NET’s camera review between the iPhone 12 Pro Max vs the Galaxy S21 Ultra. While the iPhone won out overall, C/Net’s Andrew Hoyle had to point out that Samsung’s zoom camera won hands down over the iPhone’s telephone zoom. Already missing a zoom lens upgrade this year, Apple fans are hoping to see Apple introduce a periscope-like solution for 2022.
Whether Apple is working with Samsung Electro-Mechanics on a custom design, as their patents suggest, or simply adopting the Samsung stock module is unknown at this time.
If it had been LG or Xiaomi signing on to use Samsung’s zoom lens, there likely wouldn’t be any secrecy surrounding the deal. Because the company refused to name the “global smartphone manufacturer” by name strongly suggests its Apple … though you never know.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics first launched a 5x optical zoom folded camera module that bend the absorbed light once. Its latest module bends the light twice to increase the focal length even more to offer 10x optical zoom. The dual folded zoom camera module is also only 25% longer.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics used its own lens that is shorter and coated with special materials to minimize light loss. The company also applied highly sensitive ball guided actuator for image stabilization.
A strong periscope camera lens for a future iPhone would definitely deliver one of the most important lenses in a camera system today. It’s a killer feature that will certainly excite future iPhone customers who are hoping it arrives sooner rather than later.