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iPhone 15 Pro Max production hindered by tetraprism camera lens

iPhone 15 Pro Max camera

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The iPhone 15 Pro Max could face delays due to the production of the tetraprism lens system, with changes in specification introducing more stress to the camera's supply chain, says Ming-Chi Kuo.

On Sunday, a note from TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo advised that while the iPhone 15 Pro Max is in high demand from consumers, it faced "production challenges" that could potentially cause delays in shipments.

In a new Medium post on Monday, Kuo expanded on the comments, explaining that it was all due to the new tetraprism compact camera module used only by that iPhone module.

The tetraprism lens is an integral part of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, with it increasing the Telephoto camera's optical zoom from 3x to 5x, while also bolstering the maximum zoom up to 25x. It is the only model to use the tetraprism system, with the iPhone 15 Pro using a more typical Telephoto camera arrangement.

To counter production yield issues of the CCM from exclusive supplier LGIT, Apple has increased the specifications of the lens itself, which are provided exclusively to Largan. Due to the sudden increase in lens requirements, as well as the urgency caused by high demand, Largan has expanded its production lines for the tetraprism lens itself.

As a byproduct of the new challenges and the need for more resources, the unit price of the lens has gone up to 20%. Apple is apparently willing to accept the cost, in part due to the relatively lower cost of the defective lenses, and in part due to Largan's reputation and "world-class production capabilities."

If Largan cannot meet demand under the new specifications, this could lead to delays in shipments of the iPhone 15 Pro Max to retailers and consumers.

Kuo adds that both the iPhone 16 Pro Max and iPhone 16 Pro are anticipated to have the tetraprism telephoto cameras. However, if Apple maintains its higher specification requirements for the lens, it will "raise the entry barrier for Genius," the second-largest lens supplier to Apple.

It's proposed that Largan will be more likely to remain an exclusive or primary supplier for the tetraprism lens for another year.