Front-facing cameras on smartphones can often feel a bit sloppy, and the iPhone is no exception, as Apple hasn't significantly improved the selfie cameras on smartphones since iPhone 11. But another big update could be in the works.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-experienced analyst at Apple Insights, writing on Medium (opens in a new tab), Apple is planning to add autofocus to the front camera of the iPhone 14 lineup.

It's really not the first time they've said it, but repeating it now shows that they still believe in it. It's something we've heard before from other sources, so it seems likely.

That's not the only upgrade the selfie camera could get, as Kuo also claims that Apple will use a six-element lens, versus the iPhone 13's five-element lens.

This refers to the number of individual glass pieces in the lens, and while more isn't necessarily better, it certainly can be, and probably is in this case, especially as Kuo describes this change as an improvement.

So the selfie camera in the iPhone 14 and its siblings is likely to offer significantly improved performance over previous iPhones if this information is correct.

Kuo also shared information about the vendors Apple has approached to build this new camera, which isn't of much interest, except that if Kuo has those details, it's much more believable that they're aware of the planned updates.

Analysis: autofocus vs fixed focus

According to Kuo, switching to autofocus will result in a "significant improvement in selfie and video performance," so the iPhone 14 should be a major upgrade.

Current iPhones used fixed-focus selfie cameras, meaning the lens can't be adjusted and, without the help of additional software, the amount of a scene in focus is constant across shots. With autofocus, you can optimize the focus for the type of shot you want to take. This allows for more varied shots and potentially better sharpness.

Autofocus does have a slight downside in that it requires a fraction of a second to focus, whereas a fixed focus lens doesn't, but for the most part, autofocus is superior and more desirable.

However, it's less essential on the front-facing cameras than it is on the rear-facing cameras, as you'll generally be taking the same types of photos from the same distance that most people will primarily be taking selfies. Also, the software can take over part of the relay.

But autofocus is still a nice upgrade, and it's been a long time coming.

Via 9to5Mac (Opens in a new tab)

Share This