The iPhone 16 Pro is again rumored to be matching the Pro Max with 5x optical zoom

iPhone 15 Pro Max being held
The iPhone 15 Pro Max offers 5x optical zoom (Image credit: Future)

It's been relatively quiet in terms of iPhone 16 leaks recently, but a new rumor from the Apple supply chain backs up something that we've been hearing for a while: that the iPhone 16 Pro will match the iPhone 16 Pro Max with a 5x optical zoom camera.

This comes from DigitTimes in Asia (via 9to5Mac), which reports that some key suppliers have landed more orders for iPhone tetraprism periscope lenses from Apple. Those are the lenses that can offer more depth while fitting in a super-slim smartphone.

Last year, as you'll see from our iPhone 15 Pro Max review, this particular lens was exclusive to the most expensive model, with the iPhone 15 Pro missing out. The smaller handset is fitted with a 3x optical zoom camera sensor.

It would make sense for both Pro-level iPhones to come rocking the same camera setup, which would then give buyers a straight choice between the two sizes (and the two prices). It's looking increasingly likely that that'll be the case in 2024, but nothing's certain yet.

Even more upgrades?

iPhone 15 Pro review back handheld angled camera

The iPhone 15 Pro makes do with 3x optical zoom (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

From this reporting, it seems these new camera lenses are the same as we saw in the iPhone 15 Pro Max, rather than new and improved ones with the same zoom capability – so the iPhone 16 Pro Max camera setup might be the same as its predecessor.

However, there has also been talk that the main camera and the ultra-wide camera on the iPhone 16 Pro Max are indeed in line for an upgrade. There are three rear cameras on the back of both the Pro and the Pro Max models in Apple's iPhone line-up.

Last year we saw a rumor that the iPhone 16 Pro Max might raise the bar to 10x optical zoom, but that now seems less likely to happen. The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, for comparison, offers 5x optical zoom too.

No doubt there are going to be more rumors and leaks between now and September, when the 2024 iPhones are due to make their debuts. In the meantime, we're looking forward to new foldables from Samsung, and new Pixels from Google.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.