The dual camera system Apple introduced on the recently unveiled iPhone 7 Plus is set to remain exclusive to the 5.5-inch Plus model when Apple releases what will likely be called the iPhone 8 next year. Citing cost issues along with product differentiation concerns, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo relays that we might have to wait until 2018 before Apple’s advanced new camera system trickles down to the company’s 4.7-inch iPhone model.
In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo explains:
While an attractive addition for avid picture takers and professional photographers, the iPhone 7 Plus dual-camera is not a mass-market killer application yet. Along with its high cost (estimated at over US$30-40) and the necessity for Apple to enhance the added value of high-end iPhone models, we expect only high-end new iPhone models (30-40% of them) to have a dual-camera next year.
Now this isn’t to say that the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 won’t see any substantive camera improvements, but users looking for Apple’s most advanced camera system will still have to shell out a few extra bucks for the Plus model.
Interestingly, Kuo also provides some information about what type of improvements Apple is already planning to incorporate into the iPhone 8 Plus’ camera system. For instance, Kuo claims that both camera modules on the iPhone 8 Plus (the wide angle lens and the 56mm telephoto lens) will be equipped with optical image stabilization (OIS). As it stands now, only the wide angle lens features OIS technology.
“We believe the focus of the dual-camera upgrade will be equipping telephoto CCM with OIS CCM, so as to significantly enhance optical and digital zoom quality,” Kuo writes.
Camera technology aside, the iPhone 8 may very well feature the radical design change that iPhone owners have been clamoring for. According to reports, Apple’s iPhone 8 will feature an edge to edge curved OLED display with an embedded home button. The iPhone’s design has largely remained unchanged since the iPhone 6 so it will be refreshing to finally see Apple mix things up next year.