The vanilla iPhone models are still stuck on 12MP resolution, but this year things are finally about to change – the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are rumored to have 48MP main sensors. Interestingly, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports that this new sensor will be better than the one found in the iPhone 15 Pro pair.
If you recall, the current expectations for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are that they will keep using the same sensor as last year (Sony IMX803). However, the vanilla iPhone 15 duo will be the first to get Sony’s new stacked image sensor design.
“Stacked” refers to having the photodiode and transistor for each pixel in two separate layers, one on top of the other. Regular sensors place them side by side, so there is less room for both the photodiode and the transistor. vivo, which will use the Sony Lytia LYT800 sensor for the upcoming X100 series, says that the 1/1.43” LYT800 performs similarly to a 1” sensor with a traditional design.
According to the timeline constructed by the analyst, the Pro models will get stacked sensors next year, i.e. the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max. Of course, Apple can differentiate their cameras in other ways – sensor size, type of image stabilization, etc.
Not just that, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be the only one with a periscope in its generation, it’s not all about the main camera. And the iPhone 16 Pro Max will get an exclusive “super telephoto” periscope.
Kuo warns that supply of stacked Sony sensors will be tight until 2025 as Apple gobbles them up to build tens of millions of iPhones. But that’s for other smartphone makers to worry about.