Next year’s iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


In his latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6″ 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1″ 12MP sensor expected to be used in this year’s iPhone 16 Pro models.

Both the iPhone 16 Pro and the iPhone 16 Pro Max are expected to get Tetraprism telephoto lenses in 2024, instead of the technology being limited to the larger Pro Max, as it is in the iPhone 15 series. (The iPhone 15 Pro has a 12-megapixel telephoto camera that offers 3x zoom, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max uses an upgraded telephoto system that allows for 5x zoom.) That means both iPhone 16 Pro models will feature at least 5x optical zoom and at least 25x digital zoom.

Kuo said he is currently uncertain whether only the iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature the upgraded Tetraprism camera. But if it is exclusive to the model, then both iPhone 18 Pro models will get it in 2026. The upgraded Tetraprism camera requires all-new designed prisms, which must have a shorter form factor to reduce the camera’s height, added Kuo.

The analyst’s report corroborates a claim made last year by Jeff Pu of Haitong International Securities. Pu in December said the iPhone 17 Pro Max’s upgraded 48MP telephoto lens will be optimized for use with Apple Vision Pro. Current iPhone 15 Pro models can record spatial video with 3D depth for playback on the Vision Pro – when held in landscape orientation, the main and ultra wide lenses combine to record spatial video with added depth.

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Pu previously said both iPhone 16 Pro models will feature a 48MP Ultra Wide lens, which would make the iPhone 17 Pro Max the first iPhone model to have a rear camera system entirely made up of 48-megapixel lenses. To put that into perspective, current iPhone 15 Pro models have 48MP main, 12MP ultra wide, and 12MP telephoto lenses.

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