Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently shared insights in a research note about the groundbreaking hybrid glass-plastic lenses incorporated in Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max. This cutting-edge lens technology, known as 1G3P for its one part glass and three parts plastic composition, stands out in the tetraprism periscope camera, delivering an impressive 5x optical zoom capability.

As reported by HT Tech, Huawei is set to adopt a similar lens for its 2024 flagship model, the P70 Art. Kuo’s report indicates that this innovative lens technology could soon become a prominent feature in other Android flagship smartphones as well.

Anticipating significant industry transformations, Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that the incorporation of glass-plastic hybrid lenses in the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the upcoming Huawei P70 Art will be pivotal. Kuo envisions a shift towards adopting moulding/spherical glass in these hybrid lenses, potentially displacing the use of lower-quality wafer-level glass. 

Moreover, he suggests that 1G3P lenses could pose a formidable challenge to 8P lenses, characterized by eight plastic lenses. Kuo emphasizes the advantages of 1G3P lenses, such as their reduced height and increasingly competitive pricing, as reported by 9to5Mac.

Examining the cost factor, Huawei’s utilization of the 1G3P hybrid lens initiates at $12 during the prototype stage. Nonetheless, Ming-Chi Kuo foresees a notable reduction in the range of $6-$7 during mass production as yield rates improve. Anticipated improvements in yield rates at Largan, a prominent manufacturer, are poised to facilitate Apple’s integration of the Tetraprism lens into the iPhone 16 Pro in the coming year.

Underscoring a notable advantage, Ming-Chi Kuo asserts that glass-plastic hybrid lenses excel in addressing lens deformation resulting from the design of compact camera modules (CCM). Importantly, Kuo envisions a wider adoption of these lenses by other high-end smartphones, taking cues from the groundbreaking strides made by Apple and Huawei. 

Significantly, this trend is projected to transcend the boundaries of Apple’s iOS platform and Huawei’s HarmonyOS, indicating the integration of this optical technology by flagship and top-tier Android phones.

Presently, Ming-Chi Kuo points out Largan and Sunny Optical as the primary contributors to the production of glass-plastic hybrid lenses. Yet, recognizing Largan’s substantial expertise and favorable standing in the realm of plastic lenses, Kuo emphasizes that Largan enjoys a superior position compared to Sunny Optical in this dynamic and evolving market.

 

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Published: 30 Nov 2023, 07:09 PM IST

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