The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus would embed Sony photo technology that we would not find on the Pro models.
Usually, when a brand releases several smartphones in the same series, the most sophisticated models embed many more advanced photo technologies than the classic versions. With the iPhone 15 – which is expected for September 13, 2023 – Apple would make a slightly different choice in at least one aspect. Thus, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus would be entitled to an innovation that would not be found on the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max.
As a reminder, we expect to find a main photo sensor of 48 megapixels on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. These models would thus benefit from a definition similar to that of the Pro. On the other hand, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, they would go a little further by being the first to integrate an innovation powered by Sony based on a “stacked CMOS image sensor technology“.
Better photos without enlarging the sensor
The concept of stacking means that, for each pixel, the photodiode and the transistor are placed in two distinct layers one above the other. The idea is therefore to make better use of the space than traditional structures where these two elements are generally positioned side by side.
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Broadly speaking, the promise is therefore to be able to capture more light, improve dynamic management and obtain better results in low light without having to increase the size of the sensor. On paper, this is therefore a good solution to improve the photo quality of the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus without making the module bulkier at the back.
For their part, the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max will undoubtedly have no trouble differentiating themselves with a larger sensor, more advanced software optimizations or other technologies more relevant to them. The iPhone 15 Pro Max should also be the only one to benefit from a periscopic telephoto lens.
Global consequences on the market
This Sony stacked sensor technology should however arrive next year on the iPhone 16 Pro, still according to Ming-Chi Kuo. The expert also adds that this will have more global consequences on the market. He estimates that Sony’s production capacities will remain limited until 2025, which should push Android smartphone manufacturers to turn to competing supplier Will Semiconductor to equip themselves with the same type of sensor.