Apple Begins Development on Under Display Camera for iPhones: Report

After incorporating the Dynamic Island in the non-pro iPhones with the iPhone 15 series, reports suggest that Apple is now steering toward completely removing the Dynamic Island in favor of an Under Display Camera (UDC) for future iPhones. Recent reports indicate that Apple’s Korean suppliers have initiated the development of under-display cameras, potentially paving the way for the first iPhone to achieve an authentic “all-screen” appearance.

According to sources from TheElec, LG Innotek has commenced preliminary development of the Under-Panel Camera (UPC), a technology that eliminates the necessity for any display holes to house the camera module.

How the Under Display Camera Will Function on iPhones?

In an attempt to address the light compensation challenge inherent in current Under Panel Camera systems, LG Innotek is purportedly developing a specialized lens system known as a “freeform optic” multiple lens system. This system allows for control over the thickness of the peripheral lens, mitigating distortion and enhancing the light intensity ratio around the optical module to improve the quality of peripheral images.

Reports also indicate that Apple received under-display camera samples for the iPhone from undisclosed companies; however, the tech giant found their quality to be below its standards. To enhance the quality to meet Apple’s benchmarks, LG Display, an affiliate of LG Innotek, aims to increase the light transmittance of the Under-Panel Camera (UPC) from 20% by 2023 to 40% post-2024. To achieve this, the display manufacturing company plans to utilize a transparent PI (polyimide) substrate, replacing the existing substrate.

While this development might excite numerous iPhone users, the reality is that the introduction of this new camera system is slated for the iPhone 18 series. According to reports, Apple plans to integrate under-panel Face ID technology in the iPhone 17 Pro in 2025, featuring a circular cutout for the front-facing camera.

Subsequently, in 2027, Apple intends to unveil an all-screen iPhone housing Under Display Cameras (UDCs), expected to debut in the iPhone 19 Pro models.

AzMo Tech’s Take

Since 2021, Samsung has integrated an under-display camera module in its foldable devices. Apple, renowned for refining technologies rather than pioneering them, exhibits a similar approach with under-display camera modules. The iPhone 15 series saw reduced bezel sizes and the implementation of Dynamic Island across all models. This strategic move could be interpreted as an interim step toward a future iPhone boasting an all-encompassing screen. The envisaged all-screen design by Apple holds the promise of accommodating additional icons on the display, a feature sought after by many iPhone users.

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