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Rumor: iPhone 16 to pack upgraded ‘ultra-long telephoto’ zoom, significantly larger Main camera sensor

The iPhone 15 Pro Max coming in less than two months is expected to be the first iPhone to ever feature a periscope camera lens. A new rumor this week, however, suggests that Apple has even bigger plans for next year’s iPhone 16 Pro, which could feature a new “periscope ultra-long telephoto camera.”

iPhone 16 Pro camera upgrades

The rumor comes from “Digital Chat Station,” an account on Weibo that has previously leaked accurate information about Apple’s future iPhone plans (via MacRumors). The report says that next year’s iPhone, likely the iPhone 16 Pro Max, will feature a “periscope ultra-long telephoto combination.”

The report doesn’t specifically say which iPhone 16 model will feature this upgraded camera hardware. Our expectation would be that the changes apply to the iPhone 16 Pro Max (or iPhone 16 Ultra), while the iPhone 16 Pro will get the same camera upgrade’s that are coming to this year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Our friends at B&H Photo have a nice explanation of what it means when a telephoto lens is described as being “super long” or, in this case, “ultra-long.”

More details on what exactly this means for an iPhone camera remains to be seen, but the idea is certainly intriguing. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is expected to use a periscope lens with a 6x optical zoom, which is twice as long as the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 3x telephoto lens. This rumor suggests the iPhone 16 Pro Max will offer a notable year-over-year increase in camera performance next year.

Finally, the report also says that the iPhone 16 Pro Max will likely feature a larger main camera sensor that comes in at 1/1.14-inches. This would be a notable increase compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 1/1.28-inches. A larger sensor lets in more light, generally provide higher resolutions, and can improve things like background blur and dynamic range.

As always, it’s important to treat these rumors with a grain of salt. Apple’s plans for an iPhone that are over a year away can change based on things like production rates, supply and parts availability, and pricing.

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