The arrival of the iPhone 14 may see Apple finally taking its selfie cameras seriously – but it could come at a price that puts off some buyers.
That’s according to Korean news site ET News (opens in new tab), which has published the latest in a series of reports on the Apple supply chain, looking at the camera modules Apple is said to be using for the front-facing snapper.
There’s a lot to dig into here. Apparently, Apple has ditched the manufacturer it was originally planning to use for these components, and will instead use LG Innotek, which was slated to produce the front cameras for the iPhone 15 range.
At the same time, Apple has decided to designate this camera as a ‘high-end’ component, where previously they were regarded by the company as ‘low-end’ ones.
It’s not clear what change LG’s stewardship will actually bring to the camera – maybe the sensor will have a higher resolution or be physically larger, or perhaps the lens will see some improvements in a bid from Apple to improve the performance.
All this sounds great for fans of selfies – Apple is seemingly taking the front camera more seriously, and is using parts in the iPhone 14 that were destined for future iPhones. Not only that, but the report says these parts mean the front-facing cameras will facilitate autofocus, something Apple’s selfie snappers haven’t previously supported.
We can get behind this, as iPhones haven’t always been the best for selfies. But it also sounds like there’s a catch.
According to the ET News report, the front-facing camera modules that are now going to be used in the iPhone 14 cost about three times more than the equivalent parts used in the iPhone 13 – that’s a cost that will likely be passed onto customers, meaning the mobile could be a bit more expensive than we expected.
With the iPhone 14 still some months away, we’ll have to wait until the launch (likely in mid-September) to find out if the phone does indeed get a big selfie camera upgrade, and if that’s reflected in the price.
Analysis: not the only upgrade
Not only is the iPhone 14’s front-facing camera supposedly getting an improvement, but we’ve been hearing about a redesign in this area too.
Lots of rumors and renders suggest that the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Plus, which would be the two top-end models of the four-phone family going on past form, won’t have notches like previous iPhones – as previous renders show – but will instead have punch-hole cut-outs to house their front-facing cameras, as many Android phones have.
We assumed that this change was being made in order to make the iPhones look more attractive – notches are very dated – but perhaps it’s to facilitate new sensors or lenses too, and if Apple really has changed the designation of its front-facing cameras from low- to high-priority components, we’re all for it.