Apple is focusing on a major upgrade to its camera tech on the next-gen iPhone 7, according to a bevy of reports.
The future iPhone 7, expected to be the first full-version upgrade in two years when it's released, may include an innovative new camera. Reports from Asia say camera lens makers there are gearing up to supply Apple with a dual-lens camera, Currently, suppliers are sending samples to Apple, according to a report in Taipei-based Digitimes.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the iPhone 7 will come with a dual camera option, according to 9to5Mac.com.
So, what could a dual-lens camera do for a future iPhone? One possibility is that Apple taps technology from LinX Imaging, a company it acquired last year. The company describes itself as a “pioneer in the development of multi-aperture imaging technologies.”
In a past press release, LinX states that the image quality of smartphone cameras has reached a “dead end” but that its technology can overcome these limitations with, for example, dual-camera systems that boost image quality to match standalone digital cameras.
Other improvements that could come with a dual-lens camera include optical zoom – which would be a first for the iPhone (which now only offers inferior digital zoom). Speculation also points to two iPhone 7 models, similar to the iPhone 6s and high-end 6s Plus, with the high end model getting the dual-lens system.
A good camera has become a must-have for high-end smartphones, particularly from rivals Apple and Samsung, who offer some of the best cameras in the business on the iPhone 6s and Galaxy S6, respectively. But because mainstream smartphones emphasize thinness, squeezing in camera technology that emulates that found on relatively bulky stand-alone digital cameras has been difficult. While Samsung in the past has offered optical-zoom-capable phones like the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, they've been relatively bulky, non-mainstream phone/zoom-camera hybrids.
New camera tech isn't the only thing rumored for the iPhone 7. Other features reportedly could include:
--Elimination of the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of a different connection technology, possibly in the form of an Apple Lightning connector. One report, for example, claims that Apple will bundle Lightning connector-equipped EarPods with the next iPhone. Apple could also offer wireless headphones based on Beats technology it is developing now.
--Models with more storage, possibly up to 256GB
--Improved water resistance and/or waterproofing
--So-called Li-Fi technology: Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) is similar to Wi-Fi. Suffice to say, it’s much faster than Wi-Fi.