Report Claims iPhone 7 Plus to get Dual Cameras

When Apple updates the iPhone line this fall the larger display iPhone 7 Plus could include two rear-facing cameras. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the dual camera system will let iPhone 7 Plus users snap significantly higher quality photos by combining data from both lenses and may even include an optical zoom feature—something that hasn't been available on the iPhone before.

The iPhone 7 Plus may sport dual camerasThe iPhone 7 Plus may sport dual cameras

One lens will include a wide field of view and optical stabilization, and the other will include a 2x or 3x optical zoom and a narrow field of view. Current iPhones offer a digital zoom, which is essentially just cropping a photo before you tap the shutter button.

The idea of dual cameras isn't far fetched. Apple bought the photo technology company LinX in 2015, and filed a patent application for a dual lens camera system at the beginning of the January.

The LinX purchase plays nicely into Apple's efforts to improve iPhone photo quality. The company developed technology it claimed would take SLR-quality photos from lenses and sensors small enough to fit inside a smartphone. LinX's technology could capture images with a realistic depth of field, sense depth to create 3D image maps, and offer much higher photo quality in low light conditions.

That all sounds like a great mix for a significant upgrade for the iPhone's camera, but there is a catch: Mr. Kuo said the new camera system will be available only on the 5.5-inch Plus-series iPhone 7 and not the 4.7-inch iPhone 7.

He also said Apple may limit the dual camera system to specific iPhone 7 Plus models. That seems unlikely since Apple hasn't done that with features on previous models, and it would add unnecessary confusion to the product line.

Apple has historically released new iPhone models in the fall, and there isn't any reason to expect this year to be different. That being the case, we should start seeing leaked parts this summer, which should help back up or disprove Mr. Kuo's report.

[Thanks to 9 to 5 Mac for the heads up]