Apple will launch at least one new iPhone model with a triple-lens rear camera in 2019, according to Taiwanese website Economic Daily News, citing a research note from Deutsche Securities analyst Jialin Lu.
Lu believes the triple-lens camera system will enable advanced 3D sensing via stereoscopic vision, with two of the sensors able to capture images of a single object from different angles. A triangulation method would then be used to obtain the distance between the iPhone and the object.
Like the TrueDepth system on the front of the iPhone X, the report suggests that the rear 3D sensing will be used for augmented reality purposes. The prediction lines up with a report from Bloomberg's Alex Webb, who last year said future iPhones will be equipped with rear-facing 3D sensing capabilities.
The long-focus lens would likely enable 3x optical zoom on an iPhone for the first time, enabling users to magnify the image in the viewfinder by up to three times without a blurry reduction in quality like digital zoom. iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models feature 2x optical zoom for comparison.