How did Apple emerge as a leader? Primarily through its iPhone series…

Product Related

Gain an in-depth understanding of the technical decisions made by Apple over the past nine years.


  • What’s new? Retained most of the cameras from the 14 Pro Max but with a novel periscope module:
  • The periscope is the first folded optic from LG Innotek and uses a 4-bounce tetraprism and the new IMX913 CIS.
  • Market overview: the camera module market for mobile applications was worth more than $25 billion in 2022. Yole Group announces a 3.8% CAGR to almost $32 billion in 2028 in its Status of the Camera Module Industry report.

The iPhone series has positioned Apple as a reliable market leader in smartphones. The latest generation, the iPhone 15, accounted for a quarter of all smartphones sold in 4Q23. iPhone cameras are consistently ranked among the best in the industry, relying on both incremental improvements and groundbreaking innovations, asserts Yole Group.

Continuing Yole Group’s series of camera module and CIS comparison reports, the market research & strategy consulting company releases today its latest smartphone comparison report, with a special focus on iPhone technology evolution: Smartphone Camera Module & CIS Comparison 2024, Vol. 1: iPhone Evolution.

In this new technology, process, and cost comparison report, analysts offer an overview of the technical choices made by the leading smartphone manufacturer, Apple, in its iPhone family. This analysis provides a detailed analysis of the evolution of photography and selfie cameras over the last 9 years. Indeed, this report is a synthesis of:

  • Physical analysis of the ultra-premium iPhone cameras
  • Detailed physical and costing analysis of the cameras in the iPhones 12 – 15 Pro Max.

Yole Group’s report covers both front and rear photography camera modules. The detailed physical analysis includes the complete structure, design, and teardown of each camera module, as well as the CIS dimensions, technology node, and manufacturing processes. The 3D sensing modules have been covered in previous analyses.

Peter Bonanno, Ph.D., Technology & Cost Analyst, Imaging at Yole Group
“The iPhone series has generally followed the market trend of incrementally increasing rear camera module quantity, lens count, and CIS size. Since the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the series has retained a triple rear camera configuration, which the 12 Pro Max enhanced by adding an innovative sensor-shift OIS and 7P lens system.”

Later, the iPhone 13 Pro Max kept this configuration. However, Apple made several significant upgrades, such as an enormous 1.9-µm pixel size in the main CIS and the addition of autofocus and a 6th lens in the ultra-wide module. The 14 Pro Max then drastically increased the CIS size in the main and ultra-wide modules and using for the first time in the series a CIS with 48 MP .

“It uses a quad Bayer color filter pattern that allows it to operate in a 4-pixel binning mode with an effective resolution of 12 MP and an impressive effective pixel size of 2.44 µm. The large CIS is moved by a 2nd-generation sensor-shift OIS system with a dual OIS/AF driver configuration,” asserts Peter Bonanno from Yole Group.

Titre du visuel

june 2021

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Thematic(s) :

Today, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has largely retained the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s camera but has notably upgraded the optical zoom from 3X to 5X by using an innovative periscope module. This module is very costly and employs a 4-bounce glass tetraprism and XYZ sensor-shift voice coil motor to implement both OIS and AF.

Yole Group has been developing smartphone teardowns for some time now. Combining its imaging expertise and more (Computing, sensing, semiconductor manufacturing…), Yole Group’s technology & cost analysts deliver valuable technology insights through a dedicated collection of analyses, linking the market evolution and the strategy of the smartphone manufacturers. Yole Group delivers technology and cost assessments, cost estimates with detailed breakdowns, and estimated manufacturer pricing. Complete component identification includes high-resolution photographs.

Yole Group will attend Image Sensors Europe with a dedicated presentation focused on the CIS market. Yole Group’s speaker, Florian Domengie, Senior Technology and Market Analyst, Imaging at Yole Group, will deliver on Mach 20 a presentation entitled: “The CMOS imaging industry is embarking on a new horizon.”

Do not hesitate to ask for a meeting with our experts at Image Sensor Europe: HERE.

Yole Group’s imaging team invites you to follow the technologies, related devices, applications, and markets on

Stay tuned!


  • CIS : CMOS image sensor
  • OIS : Optical Image Stabilization
  • MP : Megapixel

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