KGI Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, citing investor reaction to Apple’s new dual camera feature, is predicting that the module will remain exclusive to high-end iPhone models for next year’s anniversary release. Further, he expects high end iPhone Plus models to represent 30-40% of the total iPhone sales.
The investor note, which makes reference to a general belief that all the new iPhone models will come with a dual-camera module in 2017 as a trickle-down effect, places doubt on the possibility of the dual camera being adopted in non-Plus iPhones.
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“While an attractive addition for avid picture takers and professional photographers,” states Kuo, “the iPhone 7 Plus dual-camera is not a mass-market killer application yet.”
Kuo cites the high cost of the secondary camera, along with a need to incentivize upgrades to higher-end models, as reasons for the the module remaining a Plus model exclusive next year.
If true, such a decision certainly wouldn’t be without precedent. Remember, the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus had OIS features well before its regular version, which is just now receiving OIS with the release of the iPhone 7.
Additionally, the report notes that optical image stabilization would make its way to the secondary telephoto lens of the iPhone 7 Plus’ dual camera module in 2017 through a “Voice Coil Motor” upgrade:
“Note that for the dual-camera of iPhone 7 Plus, wide-angle CCM is equipped with optical image stabilization (OIS) VCM, while telephoto CCM only comes with general VCM. 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.”
Apple hasn’t talked at all about the lack of OIS in the telephoto lens on its dual camera module. If this is the case, it means that photos and videos taken while using the iPhone 7 Plus’ 2x optical zoom will be more susceptible to camera shake due to the lack of OIS. If the iPhone 7 Plus’ 56mm telephoto lens lacks OIS, as this investor note alludes to, then it will make taking handheld photos and videos more challenging while using the new optical zoom feature.