iPhone 15 just tipped for surprise camera upgrade

iPhone 15 Pro renders by Technizo
(Image credit: Technizo)

The upcoming iPhone 15 lineup is rumored to feature a new hybrid glass-plastic lens design for the rear camera. According to RGcloudS on Twitter the new lens is said to use a single glass element along with six plastic elements, which would be a first for iPhones.

Current iPhone models like the iPhone 14 use all-plastic lenses, but by incorporating glass, Apple can improve image quality and low-light performance. The lens may also have a wider f/1.7 aperture compared to f/1.79 on iPhone 14 Pro models, allowing more light capture.

The new hybrid lens tech is expected to debut on standard iPhone 15 models, which are also rumored to adopt the 48MP camera sensor from iPhone 14 Pro. The combination of the new lens design and upgraded sensor could lead to significant improvements in photography for non-Pro models.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has already been rumored to be the first iPhone with a periscope zoom lens, which could allow this model to jump from 3x to 6x versus the previous generation. The regular iPhone 15 Pro will reportedly stick with the same telephoto zoom as last year's model. 

iPhone 16: Should you wait?

iPhone 15 Pro renders

(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

Rumors have also circulated around the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro, despite the lineup being over a year away at the earliest estimation. Excitement over the camera technology has also been stirred up by rumors of an iPhone 16 Ultra device in 2024 as well.

Apple is said to take hybrid lenses even further with the 2024 iPhone 16 Pro Max, which may use a hybrid design with two glass elements and six plastic elements. The telephoto and ultra-wide cameras on iPhone 16 Pro models may also transition to hybrid lenses.

The hybrid lens rumor comes from a relatively unknown Twitter leaker, so details should be treated as unconfirmed for now. But the move would make sense for Apple as it looks to improve camera hardware across the lineup, while differentiating Pro and non-Pro features. We'll have to wait for official details as the iPhone 15 series draws closer to launch later this year.

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Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne
Phones Writer

Elliot MulleyGoodbarne is a Staff Writer at Tom’s Guide covering news, reviews, buying guides with wit and charm. He has had a keen interest in mobile, tablets, laptops, and everything in between since his first phone, the Samsung U600. Starting at Mobile News, Elliot has been writing about mobile and the business of technology since 2016, and has edited four trade magazines in that time, attending award shows for three of them. He has attended a range of industry events including 5G launches, device announcements, and trade events, where he developed a nose for picking up on trends, interviewing executives, and networking with the tech community. In his spare time, Elliot can usually be found watching, playing, or attending sporting events. With season tickets to West Ham United and Surrey County Cricket Club he often spends weekends in winter in a foul mood and evenings in the summer with a smile on his face. Outside of sport Elliot enjoys cooking, pubs next to rivers, and chilling out with a G&T, Whiskey, or Port after a solid week of excellence.