iPhone 15 could get Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra's best feature — two years later

iPhone 13 Pro image showcasing back camera array.
(Image credit: Framesira | Shutterstock)

Update: A new analyst report claims that the iPhone 15 Pro will indeed get a periscope lens camera. However it'll reportedly only offer 5x optical zoom, which puts Apple at a further disadvantage compared to the likes of Samsung.

The iPhone 13 Pro launched last September to stellar reviews, but we're already seeing rumors percolate regarding 2023's iPhone 15, more than a year ahead of the iPhone 14.

The latest comes from analyst Jeff Pu, as reported by MacRumors. According to Pu, who's executive director and managing director for tech research at both GF Securities and Haitong International Securities Group respectively, the iPhone 15 will launch with a 10x optical zoom periscope lens. Pu did not confirm if this would be limited to the Pro model or if it would come to all models. 

According to Apple Track, a website that documents the consistency of Apple leakers, it gave Pu a 62.5% accuracy rating out of 13 rumors. Pu currently has a limited track record when compared to those like Bloomberg's Mark Gurman or analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Speaking of Ming-Chi Kuo, he predicted in March of last year that the iPhone 15 could launch with a periscope lens as well.

A periscope lens, like the one found on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, stacks glass horizontally rather than vertically. Using an angled mirror, it can cram in additional zoom lenses without increasing the thickness of the phone as glass runs vertical with the device. We tested the 10x optical zoom on the S21 Ultra and it left us impressed.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is tipped to offer a similar pair of 3x and 10x optical zoom lenses but this time the main 108MP main camera could get a new detail enhancement mode

Google Pixel 6 cameras

(Image credit: Google)

While it's still incredibly early, information regarding the iPhone 15 continues to pop up. Another recent rumor, this time from Brazilian website Blog Do iPhone, claims that the iPhone 15 could ditch sim cards entirely

Periscope lenses became slightly more common on Android flagships last year. Apart from the S21 Ultra, we saw this type of zoom tech also reach Huawei's P40 Pro Plus and the Pixel 6 Pro. Likely, periscope lenses will become more common with 2022 Android flagships as well.

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.