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Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that iPhone 14 Pro models will see major camera upgrades that could result in better low-light performance — but result in a more expensive higher-end lineup than the iPhone 13 Pro.
On Monday night, Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted predictions about the higher-end iPhone 14 line.
His predictions included an upgraded ultra-wide camera, increasing from a 1.0-micrometer pixel on the iPhone 13 Pro to a 1.4-micrometer pixel on the iPhone 14 Pro models. The increase would offer improved low-light image captures, nearly double the light captured per pixel.
I predict two iPhone 14 Pro models’ ultra-wide cameras will upgrade to 1.4m (vs. iPhone 13 Pro’s 1.0m). CIS (CMOS image sensor), VCM (voice coil motor), and CCM (compact camera module) have a significant unit price increase in this upgrade, with about 70%, 45%, and 40%.
— (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) August 30, 2022
In total, Kuo believes that Apple will upgrade the iPhone 14 Pro CMOS image sensor, voice coil motor, and compact camera module. Kuo points out that the three upgrades could be as much as 70%, 45%, and 40% more expensive, respectively, than those found in the iPhone 13.
This is not incompatible with rumors of a 48-megapixel camera coming to the iPhone 14 Pro family. The camera is also expected to use pixel binning to improve color accuracy and low-light performance, with four discrete pixels being used for each generated pixel of a low-light photo. The array of four pixels equates to 1.4 micrometers, effectively being used to make one low-light pixel.
If true, the result will still be 12-megapixel photos for low-light photos, and up to 48 megapixels for brightly lit subjects.
The analyst also believes that component suppliers will reap the benefits of the upgrades. According to Kuo, Sony supplies the CMOS image sensor, Minebea and Largan supply the voice coil motor, and LG Innotek supplies the compact camera module.
Kuo recently stated that he believed the iPhone 14 might ship earlier in the year than the iPhone 13 did, based on clues from Apple’s last earnings call.
He also predicts that Apple could announce its VR headset as early as January 2023, though it is not clear if the prediction is the result of new information from the supply chain.