Apple is among the only few major smartphone makers out there who are yet to use the periscope camera system on one of their high-end phones, but things might change soon. As per a fresh report from ETNews, Apple is trying to finalize suppliers for folded camera modules – or in simple terms, periscope camera systems – that can help achieve a significantly higher optical zoom range for its next wave of iPhones.
The company is reportedly looking for suppliers that have the requisite technical acumen and patents to deliver periscope camera modules, but things are not going to be easy for Apple. Samsung Electronics is said to own key patents regulating the ‘folded camera’ technology, while the sister firm Samsung Electro-Mechanics is a key supplier of those components for Samsung’s own flagship portfolio. “Ball-type actuator is the key to folded camera, and patents related to the actuator are in possession of Corephotonics that was recently acquired by Samsung Electronics,” an industry source was quoted as saying by ETNews.
And due to the aforementioned hurdles, Apple is reportedly not able to design periscope cameras that meet its stringent quality standards. At this point in time, a deal between Apple and Samsung for sourcing periscope camera modules from the Korean company appears unlikely, since Samsung will likely prefer to maintain the competitive edge for its own smartphones by not supplying the technology to its biggest rival. However, the possibility of Samsung eventually joining hands with Apple has not been ruled out in its entirety either.
Earlier this year, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple’s lineup of iPhones in 2022 will come equipped with periscope cameras. However, as per the report, the company has reportedly locked Semco and Sunny Optical as the key suppliers for periscope cameras that will go inside its iPhones two years from now.