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Dual-lens cameras expected to be the de facto iPhone standard by 2018

A recent analyst note predicts that the iPhone's installed base will migrate over to optical image stabilization in both camera lenses across most of the line in 2017, with about 85 percent of the line sporting a camera similar to that in the iPhone 7 Plus by 2018.

A note published by KGI, obtained by AppleInsider, expects that Apple will add optical image stabilization to both lenses in the fall 2017 iPhone. Factors possibly impacting adoption of the technology in both lenses are the need to increase the image circle in the telephoto, and a possible need to completely redesign the telephoto lens to accommodate the stabilizing technology.

KGI reiterates its belief that there will be three models of the iPhone revealed in the fall of 2017, with a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch TFT-LCD display, and an OLED version of unspecified size, with the 5.5-inch and OLED models expected to have the dual-lens camera with universal optical image stabilization.

If KGI's predictions are right, then it expects growth of the technology from between 10 and 15 percent of the 2016 user base to 40-50 percent by the end of 2017. With further adoption, KGI sees 80-85 percent of the iPhone users having the dual-lens tech by the end of 2018.

Largan will likely continue to be the exclusive supplier of the camera modules for Apple. Other benificiaries of the expansion include Sony, LG Innotek, and Sharp for assorted components involved with the more complex camera module.

Apple has developed a solid foundation for iPhone photography in the camera shared between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. A new six-element lens has been implemented, and is coupled with a high-speed 12-megapixel sensor that Apple claims is 60 percent faster and 30 percent more energy efficient than previous iPhone cameras.

The iPhone 7 Plus adds a telephoto lens, coupled with a dedicated sensor. The telephoto lens adds an optical zoom of 2x, bringing the effective zoom to 10x. The aperture on the telephoto is smaller than the wide-angle lens, at Æ’/2.8. The telephoto lens does not feature optical image stabilization at this time.