A new report from the not always reliable publication DigiTimes says Apple has begun testing dual-lens camera samples for possible use in the upcoming “iPhone 7 Plus.” Taiwan-based Largan Technology and other Japan- and China-based lens makers are said to have supplied samples.
The same source notes that Largan currently supplies over 60 percent of Apple’s smartphone cameras, leading some market analysts to believe Apple is seeking dual-camera products from other makers to lower potential risks.
While DigiTimes has a mixed track record at best when reporting on Apple’s product plans, the new report follows a prediction last month by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that Apple has two versions of the “iPhone 7 Plus” in development, one with a single rear-facing camera, and a second “Pro” model with a dual-camera system.
The rumored dual-camera system would make use of the imaging algorithms acquired by Apple when it bought Israeli camera technology firm LinX Imaging in April of last year. LinX technology takes advantage of several smaller sensors to replace one large sensor, enabling the use of a shorter lens.
A number of China-based smartphone vendors, including: Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, and Qiku have already adopted dual-lens cameras for their smartphone products. Huawei’s uses an image processing chip from Altek in its dual-lens camera.