Most of the iPhone rumors we’re seeing right now are focused on the iPhone 16 due in 2024 – but there’s also speculation about what’s coming the year after with the iPhone 17, and specifically the cameras on board the iPhone 17 Pro Max.
According to industry analyst Jeff Pu (via MacRumors), the iPhone 17 Pro Max is going to come with a 48MP periscope telephoto camera as one of the cameras on the back, and it’ll be optimized for shooting video for the Apple Vision Pro.
We’ve already seen videos shot on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in Apple’s mixed reality headset, and the 3D results are impressive. It sounds as though the quality will be improved even further in the coming years.
Pu doesn’t go into any more detail about what we can expect from the most expensive 2025 iPhone, nor is there any elaboration on how the Pro Max model might differ from the others in the series when it comes to cameras.
Cameras by the numbers
As you’ll read in our iPhone 15 Pro Max review, this year’s top-tier iPhone handset comes with a 48MP main camera, a 12 MP periscope telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultrawide camera on the back. The iPhone 15 Pro matches those numbers, except for using a standard 12MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom.
With the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max rumored to be getting a 48MP ultrawide camera next year, that would mean the iPhone 17 Pro Max is set to get three 48MP cameras fitted inside the rear module – a seriously high-end setup.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max periscope telephoto camera uses a tetraprism design, where a folded glass structure is used to repeatedly reflect light. This means a greater optical zoom level can be reached in a more compact form factor.
It’s worth remembering that a lot can change in two years, and we wouldn’t take these leaks too seriously until we’re closer to the launch of the iPhone 17 – but it seems that mobile photography will continue to be a key focus for the handset series.