iPhone 17 Pro Max will be the first phone to feature three 48MP camera lenses

Next year’s iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for improved image quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

in Latest investor note published on MediumThe main change in specs will be a 48-megapixel, 1/2.6-inch CIS sensor, Kuo said, up from the 12-megapixel, 1/3.1-inch sensor that is expected to be used in this year’s iPhone 16 Pro models.

Both the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max are expected to get Tetraprism telephoto lenses in 2024, rather than the technology being limited to the larger Pro Max, as is the case with the iPhone 15 series. (The iPhone 15 Pro has a 12MP telephoto camera that offers 3x zoom, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max uses an improved zoom system that allows for 5x zoom.) That means both iPhone 16 Pro models will have at least 5x optical zoom and at least 25x digital zoom.

Kuo said he’s not sure at this point whether the iPhone 17 Pro Max alone will feature the updated Tetraprism camera. But if it’s exclusive to the model, both iPhone 18 Pro models will get it in 2026. Kuo added that the updated Tetraprism camera would require a completely new design of the prisms, which should have a shorter form factor to reduce the height of the camera.

The analyst’s report confirms a claim made last year by Jeff Pu of Haitong International Securities. Pu said in December that the 48-megapixel telephoto lens in the iPhone 17 Pro Max would be optimized for use with Apple’s Vision Pro. Current iPhone 15 Pro models can record spatial video with 3D depth for playback on the Vision Pro — when held in landscape orientation, the main and ultra-wide lenses combine to record spatial video with additional depth.

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Pu previously said that the iPhone 16 Pro models will feature a 48MP ultra-wide lens, making the iPhone 17 Pro Max the first iPhone model to feature a rear camera system made up entirely of 48MP lenses. To put that into perspective, the current iPhone 15 Pro models feature a 48MP main lens, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and a 12MP telephoto lens.

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