iPhone 13 could get upgraded ultrawide camera to boost low-light photography

iPhone 13 could get an ultrawide camera boost over the iPhone 12 Pro Max
(Image credit: Future)

Cameras figure to be a focus with this year’s iPhone 13 update, as Apple looks to leapfrog the advances made in the Samsung Galaxy S21 models. And Cupertino could do that by bolstering the ultrawide angle lens on its next flagship phone. 

That’s the word from reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who noted in a research note seen spotted by MacRumors that a boosted ultrawide lens will give the iPhone 13 improved low-light photography. 

Kuo bases this on the lens verification China's Sunny Optical carried out for a 5-element iPad camera lens. From that process, Apple has learned how to bolster low-light performance on the ultrawide camera the iPhone 13 is tipped to have. And that camera is expected to contain a 7-element lens; more elements generally mean a better camera. 

Kuo noted that lens shipments could start as early as this quarter, which would leave Apple with about 15% of the parts it would need for whichever iPhone model it decides to pursue first, with production increases being carried out later on. 

The one part no one seems to agree on? Which iPhone 13 models will get the upgraded camera lens. 

Leaker Jon Prosser took to YouTube to tackle a series of iPhone 13 rumors. He seems pretty confident that all iPhone 13 models would come with camera upgrades. but that all of them would be incremental changes. Prosser believes the ultrawide lens alone would be changed, then given f/1.8 optics instead. He doesn’t, however, expect the iPhone 13 to have a periscope zoom lens; that might actually come to fruition with the iPhone 14 in 2022. 

Earlier, a pair Barclays analysts claimed the iPhone 13's ultrawide lens would feature an f/1.8 aperture instead of f/2.4. The report also contends the iPhone 13 Pro will adopt the same zoom lens as the iPhone 12 Pro Max for 65mm focal length and f/2.2 aperture, which offers a 2.5x optical zoom. That's a smidge higher than the iPhone 12 Pro's optical zoom. 

Still, a lot of things remain up in the air about the iPhone 13, including whether it will even be called that or go by the iPhone 12s instead. 

In keeping with tradition, Apple has not been forthcoming about its plans for 2021. But if it does release a new phone, there's a very real possibility it won't be a complete overhaul, with more modest upgrades here and there to look forward to instead. 

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.