iPhone 12 Pro Max
iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image only for representation)

The 2021 slate of iPhones is still months away, but rumors about some major upgrades planned for the 2022 iPhone line-up have already started swirling around. TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a fairly solid record with predictions related to upcoming Apple products, has now predicted (via Macrumors) some major upgrades for the iPhone line-up said to debut in 2022. The biggest one would be a switch to 48MP camera sensors, a first for Apple. 

iPhones' ability to record 8K video is tied with Apple's AR device ambitions

Apple has been using 12MP sensors for a while now. Right now, you’ll find three 12MP sensors on the iPhone 12 Pro models, and a pair of 12MP sensors on the vanilla iPhone 12 and its Mini sibling. Yes, even Android phones that cost one-fourth of an iPhone 12 today come equipped with a 48MP camera, but Apple’s work with 12MP cameras still yields arguably the best smartphone camera experience out there, especially when it comes to video capture. However, it is now apparently a time to make the 48MP upgrade.

“In terms of pixel size, the ‌iPhone 12‌, iPhone 13, and new 2H22 ‌iPhone‌ are about 1.7um, 2um, and 1.25um, respectively. We believe that the new 2H22 ‌iPhone‌ may support direct 48MP output and 12MP (four cells merge output mode) output simultaneously. With 12MP output, the CIS pixel size of the new 2H22 ‌iPhone‌ increases to about 2.5um, which is significantly larger than the ‌iPhone 12‌ and ‌iPhone 13‌, and larger than existing Android phones, and close to the DSC level. We believe that the camera quality of the new 2H22 ‌iPhone‌ will elevate mobile phone camera photography to a new level.”
As per Kuo, only the pricier ‘Pro’ models of the 2022 iPhone lineup will be armed with a 48MP camera. It is unclear whether Samsung or Sony will supply the 48MP sensor, but the pixel size will stand at 1.25um, smaller than what we get with the 12MP sensor on the iPhone 12 (1.7um) and iPhone 13 (2um) family that is scheduled for a debut later this year. However, the 48MP sensor will do 4-in-1 pixel-binning, combining four adjacent pixels to create a ‘super pixel’ that effectively offers a pixel size of 2.5um. Now, the larger a pixel is, the more light it collects, which essentially means brighter photos with more details.

48MP is not a huge leap vis-a-vis rivals, but it will take the camera prowess of iPhones to the next level

Additionally, the 2022 iPhone ‘Pro’ duo will be able to capture 8K videos, which is again something that you can find on many high-end Android phones out there. However, Apple wants 8K capture support for more than just bragging rights. Since pixel-dense 8K videos are better suited for wearables such as VR/AR/MR devices, the capability of iPhones to record such videos will come in handy, and they also align with Apple’s plans of launching an AR headset in 2022, and AR glasses in 2023.

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.

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