When Apple announced the iPhone 15 Pro Max it also took the wraps off of the new tetraprism camera lens that makes the new 5x optical zoom possible. The iPhone 15 Pro doesn't have the same camera because of a lack of space, we're told, but a new report suggests that will all change when the iPhone 16 Pro arrives next year.
A new report by supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple is getting set to bring the same 5x optical zoom capability to the smaller 6.1-inch iPhone 16 Pro next year. Apple previously hinted that the iPhone 15 Pro Max's larger 6.7-inch display meant that there was enough internal space for the special light-bending lens.
Kuo was writing as part of a longer Medium post when he claimed that both the iPhone 16 Pro Max and iPhone 16 Pro are expected to feature the new tetraprism telephoto camera.
The 5x optical zoom also offers up to 25x digital zoom for the first time. By comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max top out at just a 3x optical zoom, something that has long been sneered at by owners of Samsung devices and their incredible zoom capabilities.
As for the iPhone 16 Pro itself, that's rumored to be getting a new, larger 6.3-inch display. If that's the case we can expect the overall size of the device to grow - likely giving Apple just enough space to fit that new tetraprism lens inside.
There's still a long way to go before any of that happens, of course. Apple isn't likely to announce any of its iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro models until around September 2024, a whole year from now. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro families of devices were announced on September 12 and will go on sale at the end of this week. The September 22 launch date will also see the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 make their debut, while the new USB-C AirPods Pro 2 are also set to go on sale on the same day.
If Apple does bring the 5x optical zoom to the iPhone 16 Pro it will be interesting to see if the iPhone 16 Pro Max gains another feature to differentiate it from the smaller Pro model. There are rumors of a new Apple Watch Ultra as well, so that's another factor that could change the lineup for next year's models.