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Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that iPhone 14 Pro models will see major camera upgrades that could result in better low-light performance, but result in a more expensive lineup than the iPhone 13 Pro.
On Monday evening, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted predictions about the more expensive iPhone 14 line.
His predictions included an improved ultra-wide camera, which would increase from a 1.0 micrometer pixel on the iPhone 13 Pro to a 1.4 micrometer pixel on the iPhone 14 Pro models. The increase is said to yield better low-light shots, nearly double the light captured per pixel.
I predict that the ultra-wide cameras on two iPhone 14 Pro models will upgrade to 1.4m (vs 1.0m on iPhone 13 Pro). CIS (CMOS Image Sensor), VCM (Voice Coil Motor) and CCM (Compact Camera Module) have a significant price increase per unit in this upgrade, by about 70%, 45% and 40%.
— (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) August 30, 2022
In all, Kuo believes that Apple will upgrade the iPhone 14 Pro CMOS image sensor, voice coil motor and compact camera module. Kuo points out that the three upgrades could be 70%, 45% and 40% more expensive, respectively, than those in the iPhone 13.
This is not inconsistent with rumors of a 48-megapixel camera coming to the iPhone 14 Pro family. The camera is also expected to use pixel binning to improve color accuracy and low-light performance, using four separate pixels for each generated pixel of a low-light photo. The array of four pixels corresponds to 1.4 micrometers, and is effectively used to make one pixel in low light.
If that’s true, the result is still 12 megapixel photos for low-light shots and up to 48 megapixels for brightly lit subjects.
The analyst also believes that component suppliers will reap the benefits of the upgrades. According to Kuo, Sony will provide the CMOS image sensor, Minebea and Largan will provide the voice coil motor, and LG Innotek will provide the compact camera module.
Kuo recently stated that he believed the iPhone 14 could ship earlier in the year than the iPhone 13, based on indications from Apple’s latest earnings call.
He also predicts that Apple could announce its VR headset as early as January 2023, though it’s not clear whether the forecast is the result of new information from the supply chain.