If you're looking at the two cameras on the back of your iPhone X in disgust, then good news: next year's phone from Apple might have another lens on there.
According to a report from Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News, the iPhone 12 (or XII, or however Apple is going to take on the naming convention of successors to the iPhone X) will pack a third lens to improve camera performance.
There's not a lot of evidence to back this up, with the news appearing to be based on analysis of the supply chain, although we've not heard the rumor emanating from other analysts just yet.
But the report claims that the iPhone will have a six element lens with optical image stabilization and a 5x zoom, which would likely be optical as well for minimal loss of image quality.
Usually a report like this would be easily dismissed were it not for the impressive performance of the Huawei P20 Pro, which has been impressing reviewers with its excellent camera quality.
In the case of Huawei's model, the camera lenses are split into a 40MP sensor, a 20MP black and white sensor and a final 8MP lens that offers 3x optical zoom. Combined with AR smarts, this brings great color and clarity to snaps, especially in low light.
Based on the performance here, it's likely that other manufacturers will bring the same technology to bear over the next year or so – most top brands have R&D labs with prototypes of all kinds of smartphone tech on trial, so rolling it out won't be an issue.
Staying its own course
Apple is tipped to 'only' be using 12MP sensors in its future three-camera setup, which would make sense given it's never been a brand to chase a high number of megapixels for a flashy marketing claim. Instead, it's always gone for the quality of image to sell the phone, as seen in its powerful 'Shot on iPhone' campaigns.
The bigger question mark on this report is not whether Apple will go for a triple sensor – if the industry adopts it, then it's almost certain to happen for an iPhone eventually – but whether it's in 2019.
Apple often resists adding in new components to its phones unless it can craft them precisely, so 2019 might be a little soon for a triple-lensed iPhone – but if 2019 is full of three-sensored phones, then it won't be too long at all before Apple follows suit.
- Well, this is what we're hoping to see for the iPhone XI