iPhone 16 tetraprism lens looks even more likely thanks to this new report

iPhone 15 Pro Max shown in hand
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

One of the best new features on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the tetraprism zoom, which offers 5x telephoto zoom — the highest of any iPhone. Sadly the lens module is exclusive to the Pro Max, with rumors claiming it was too big for the iPhone 15 Pro. But that may not be the case for the iPhone 16 Pro lineup.

There have been rumors that the iPhone 16 Pro could be slightly bigger, rocking in at 6.3-inches. While not a huge increase, it’s been claimed this could be enough to make space for the tetraprism lens in the smaller Pro model. Now there are reports from the supply chain that appear to corroborate this.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, tetraprism lens supplier Largan has increased its production yield from 40% to 70%. We’d long heard rumors that Apple was having issues procuring enough tetraprism lenses for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and the prospect of a delay was brought up more than once

So even if Apple had been able to find space to add the new telephoto shooter to the iPhone 15 Pro, it might have had to abandon the idea on account of there physically not being enough tetraprism modules. Either way, Apple hasn’t confirmed why it chose to make the improved telephoto lens a Pro Max exclusive — and odds are it never will.

So an increase in production yield can only be good news, no matter what happens with the iPhone 16 Pro. More lenses means there’s a better chance the rumors are true, and Apple will add a tetraprism lens to next year’s phone. And better yield means there’s less likely to be reports of possible delays thanks to this one component.

Kuo doesn’t mention anything about possible upgrades to the tetraprism lens. In fact his report suggests that this improved yield relates to the same 5x lens that’s already available in the iPhone 15 Pro Max. 

So far we’ve heard that the 2024 iPhone Pros will get the same 5x zoom as the iPhone 15 Pro Max. But we have also heard rumors that Apple could partner with a new lens supplier that can offer thinner and lighter lenses with more powerful magnification. 

Considering Kuo claims last minute changes are responsible for low production yield, it’s likely that Apple will finalize these specs pretty early on to avoid the same mistakes. In the meantime we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but be sure to check our iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro hubs for all the latest news and rumors.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.