Update: The rear cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro look to be getting considerably larger.
Apple could equip the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro with an upgraded selfie camera, which could feature a built-in autofocus. But the move may drive up the cost of the phones Apple is slated to release this fall.
That’s according to ET News, which reports that Apple has moved from a potential Chinese supplier to a South Korean company LG Innotek. Alongside Japanese company Sharp, the two manufacturers are tipped to provide the front-facing cameras for the new iPhones.
ET News cites insider sources, and with Apple supposedly gearing up for production of the next iPhone range, there could be some weight to this tidbit of innovation. It also echoes previous claims by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
As mentioned, this new selfie snapper is expected to use autofocus that’s built into the camera rather than rely on software tuning as current iPhones do. The front camera is also tipped to have a wider f/1.9 aperture, which would be an improvement on the f/2.2 aperture of the front-facing camera on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. A wider aperture can let in more light and thus can make for more detailed photos, as well as better night time shots.
This could be a big boost for people who like snapping selfies in dark bars or clubs on nights out, now that the world has crawled back to a semblance of normality after the disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic. It could also mean video recording and FaceTime calls are brighter; more light could pave the way for more balanced selfie photos and thus more accurate skin tones. For YouTubers or TikTok stars, this could be a boon. (Make sure to check out the Tom’s Guide TikTok while we're on that subject.)
Selfie shots on the iPhone 13 range are generally rather good, and keep up with other smartphones on our best camera phones list. But there’s still room for improvement. Ideally, more megapixels combined with Apple’s computational photography would be appreciated.
Going by the rumors thus far, we expect the iPhone 14 front-facing camera to stick with a 12MP sensor. With the iPhone 14 Pro tipped to get a 48MP main camera, Apple's focus on megapixels is likely to remain on the rear camera array rather than the iPhone 14' selfie camera.
However, widening the aperture and integrating autofocus on the front-facing camera could lead to a three-fold increase in camera manufacturing prices, which could then see an increase in iPhone prices.
Two of the predicted four iPhone 14 models tipped are expected to see a price increase of $100, with a new $899 iPhone 14 Max model expected to be introduced to complete a quartet made up of the standard iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max.
Speaking of the iPhone 14 range, minor upgrades are predicted for the standard iPhone 14, with it tipped to even get a take on the A15 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 13, but with more RAM. The iPhone 14 Max is expected to bring in a larger 6.7-inch display.
Bigger changes are tipped for the iPhone 14 Pro modes, with a new pill and punch-hole cutout design for the selfie camera and Face ID tech, as well as an A16 Bionic chipset and improved rear cameras. But on the whole, expect to see an evolution not revolution in design and features, if and when the iPhone 14 range launches on the rumored date of September 13.