iPhone 15 Pro Max periscope zoom just ran into problems — here’s what we know

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

Apple's apparently having difficulties with sourcing parts for the iPhone 15 Pro Max's rumored signature feature, its periscope telephoto camera, according to a report by Korean outlet The Elec.

It's claimed that the Sony and LG Innotek parts for the periscope zoom are not being built in the quantities expected. Without enough stock to build iPhone 15 Pro Max units, that could mean delays to this model, or even the whole iPhone 15 line, being launched, or severe stock shortages once they go on sale, something we already experienced last year with the iPhone 14 Pro and especially the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

We're quite excited about the rumored periscope telephoto camera for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, as it should drastically improve the optical zoom level you can achieve on an iPhone. It's claimed that the periscope mechanism, which allows a more powerful zoom lens to fit in the iPhone's slim body, will allow for 5x or 6x magnification.

This isn't thought to be a feature on the iPhone 15 Pro though. The rumor mill is telling us that the smaller Pro iPhone will stick with the current 3x telephoto zoom seen on the past couple of Pro iPhone generations.

iPhone 15 displays are in production — but also facing problems

Elsewhere, The Elec tells us that all iPhone 15 displays have entered mass production, but that there may not be enough right now to go around, especially for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Samsung Display is the first (and currently only) company that Apple's approved to mass-produce displays for all four of the expected next-gen iPhone models. It's not responsible for making the vast majority of any display, however. Instead, Apple's apparently tapped LG Display to focus on the Pro models' displays, and BOE for the standard and Plus screens, which is why there's potential trouble on the horizon.

The Elec claims LG currently only has conditional approval to build the iPhone 15 Pro displays, with agreements in place for it to build the screens for the Pro Max as well. This means LG Display still has some work to do before its display manufacturing is seen as reliable enough to use for mass production of the iPhone 15 Pro screens, with more yet required before Apple will let it loose on the Pro Max.

This fits with what we've heard recently about LG-built iPhone 15 displays failing reliability tests, and is also a big reason why some analysts are now predicting a shipping delay for the iPhone 15.

To make matters worse, BOE is apparently even further behind, having transferred all pre-sale iPhone 15 and 15 Plus display orders to Samsung while it tries to address quality issues with its screens. It's apparently having trouble building displays with the Dynamic Island cut-outs, something we're expecting to see on the standard iPhones as well as the Pro models this year.

We may be just over a month away from the iPhone 15 series launching, since Apple tends to launch its new iPhones each year in the second week of September. So unless it decides to hold back, perhaps to give its production partners time to build more units, we should be seeing the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, and their rumored features like a 3nm A17 Bionic chipset, USB-C charging port and new Action button, very soon.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.