The Apple iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus still have to deal with 12 megapixel cameras. But this year, something is about to change. Apple is rumored to upgrade the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus to 48-megapixel main cameras. Interestingly, well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes this new sensor will be better than the one found in the iPhone 15 Pro models.
That’s because, according to the current state in the rumor mill, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will use the same sensor as last year – a Sony IMX803. The base models, on the other hand, are the first to receive Sony’s new stacked image sensor design. Stacked refers to the photodiode and transistor for each pixel being stacked in two separate layers. With conventional sensors, they are placed side by side. So there is less space for both the photodiode and the transistor.
With the X100 series, vivo is also one of the first customers of stacked sensors. A Sony Lytia LYT800 sensor will be used in the upcoming flagships. According to vivo, the 1/1.43-inch LYT800 performs similarly to a traditional 1-inch sensor.
According to the schedule created by Kuo, the Pro models will get stacked sensors next year, i.e. with the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max. Until then, Apple could also differentiate the Pro cameras differently. For example by the sensor size, the aperture or the type of image stabilization.
In addition, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be the first and only Apple phone with a periscope zoom camera. A year later, the iPhone 16 Pro Max will get an exclusive “super-tele” periscope. Kuo warns that stocks of Stacked Sony sensors will run out by 2025 as Apple plans to use them to build millions of iPhones.