Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone X hasn’t even started shipping, yet the rumor mills are already churning out speculation about next year’s iPhone X successor. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone X successor will use the exact same rear camera module as this year’s iPhone X.
Ming Chi-Kuo is one of the top analysts when it comes to all things Apple, and has an excellent track record for accurately predicting future iPhone features. What this means is this rumor worth paying attention to. So why is Apple opting to go with the same camera in the next generation as well? And what are the possible repercussions of such a decision?
There were rumors that next year’s iPhone X successor might make the shift from a 6 element plastic lens array to a 7 element lens array, and possibly even a 2 glass 3 plastic lens array. The rear camera was also expected to feature the TrueDepth system, which is making its debut on the iPhone X’s front camera this year. This sensor allows for depth sensing and forms the basis for Apple’s all new Face ID system.
However, now it seems that Apple might forego all these improvements. The reason for this might have to do with production and supply issues. We are all aware of the iPhone X’s limited availability at launch, which means that many customers may have to wait a while before they can get their hands on one. This is likely due to supply issues surrounding difficult to mass produce components like OLED displays and the new TrueDepth camera module. Apple would want to avoid a repeat of this issue at all costs with their 2018 flagship.
Of course, this presents a huge opportunity for the competition to get one up over Apple. For years, Apple has set the standard when it comes to camera quality, and have remained a step ahead of their competition. However, this has changed over the last year or so, with several Android phones catching up, and even beating Apple. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ cameras gave Apple’s iPhone 7/7 Plus a tough competition, and the Galaxy Note 8 trade blows with the iPhone 8/8 Plus when it comes to camera quality. The biggest challenger is, of course, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which has been lauded by many as the best smartphone camera ever. If Apple gets complacent with their camera, the likes of Google, Samsung and LG may race ahead in 2018. Considering just how important a selling point a good smartphone camera is, Apple may be at risk of falling behind.