The iPhone’s main camera lens may not see significant hardware updates until at least 2022. According to a new research note from famed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The iPhone’s main lens won’t be updated until 2022
Today’s news focuses on a new price war between lens suppliers Largan and Genius Electronic Optical that will affect supplier profitability. With Genius Electronic Optical. In particular, the risk is due to its high dependence on Apple combined with Largan’s willingness to cut prices. It also affects Sunny Optical’s next entry into the high-end iPhone camera lens supply chain.
We predict that Largan will trade the ASP of the iPhone’s mid-to-high-end lenses by approximately 15-25% in 1H21 in order to increase its capacity utilization rate. The proportion of orders [Genius Electronic Optical] from Yujingguang, the capacity utilization rate and gross profit margin will be directly affected. The impact of the price war will begin in January 2021, and Yujingguang’s January revenue can only grow in single digits year-on-year or even decline.
Kuo specifically predicts that there will be “no significant upgrade to the camera lens in 2022.” Which indicates that the challenges for Genius Electronic Optical could stretch for several years; “Unless the structural challenges of the targeting industry are significantly improved or Yujingguang can significantly reduce its dependence on Apple orders.”
Despite Kuo’s prediction that there will be no significant hardware advancements for camera lenses on iPhone models for 2021 and 2022. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be improvements in overall camera performance. Apple also puts considerable effort on the software side of its camera capabilities. So we can still see new features and other adjustments due to improvements in both the software; as in other elements of the camera hardware stack beyond lenses.
To the best of our knowledge, Kuo’s comments may refer to the main wide-camera lens only. Since you have previously discussed the upcoming updates for the ultrawide and telephoto lenses. Kuo’s report is not entirely clear which lens or lenses he is referring to.