This week, Particle Debris opens with an exciting change to the iPhone telephoto camera—a periscope lens system. It’s Apple’s next iPhone vision.

Apple’s Next iPhone Vision

MacRumors has the story about an exciting design change for the future telephoto lens of the iPhone.

Analyst [Ming-Chi] Kuo believes that Semco will be providing a large percentage of new periscope telephoto lenses to Apple for the 2022 ‌iPhone‌.

Apple's Next iPhone Vision

A periscope camera lens system using a prism.

Just what is a periscope camera lens? A prism or mirror behind the objective lens deflects the light 90 degrees down the inside of the case to the photosensor resulting in a much longer focal length. This is highly desirable for a telephoto lens.

Fifteen years ago, I had a point-and-shoot Olympus camera that used this technique. It’s very cool. The MacRumors article above shows a schematic and PocketNow has a great explanation. “What is a periscope camera on smartphones?

A periscope camera derives its name from the eponymous instrument used on ships or submarines…. It essentially uses a combination of mirrors or a prism to bend light. Smartphone makers have used the same concept to create periscope modules for cameras to enhance their zooming range.

My only question is … what’s taking Apple so long?

The Week’s Apple News Debris

• As we know, Softbank owns the IP to ARM technology. But Softbank has some money problems and has sought to sell the ARM rights to Apple. But Apple declined. See the ars technica story: “ARM is for sale and Nvidia’s interested, Apple isn’t.” Why?

Apple’s situation is probably the case for most companies with an attachment to ARM. ARM is so widespread that buying it will be a regulatory nightmare, and even the most lenient rubber-stamp regulators around the world must shudder at the idea of an existing ARM licensee buying ARM.

• We’ve been hearing rumors that the iPhone 12/5G will be delayed beyond the customary rollout of September. MarketWatch refers us to a Japanese Apple blog that now thinks it’ll be “latter half of October.” Why? “… production delays caused by the coronavirus.” That’s still in plenty of time for the holidays.

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• Corning has been making the “Gorilla Glass” for iPhones for many years. Now, CNET reports on the next generation, “Gorilla Glass Victus.” Here’s the link: “What the new Gorilla Glass could mean for your next Galaxy phone or iPhone.

Its latest endeavor is Gorilla Glass Victus, which can survive drops of up to two meters (6.6 feet), compared to the maximum drop height of 1.6 meters for Gorilla Glass 6. It’s also twice as scratch-resistant.

Apple TV+

• Boatloads of opinion have been written about the various streaming TV services, but a good survey of real customers carries more weight. This one, reported by Cult of Mac, is not good for Apple. “Survey: Apple TV+ has lowest overall experience score of major streaming services.

One other question asked was “likeliness to return.” HBO Max won the “most likely” category followed by Netflix. Apple TV+ was last. See the included chart. There is good follow-up discussion.

• Finally, if you’ve been eagerly awaiting Star Trek: Discovery, season 3, here’s a good scoop. “Star Trek: Discovery Crew Drops Hints About Season 3, Strange New Worlds.” Plus, the very popular Anson Mount (Capt. Christopher Pike) is getting … well … no spoiler here.


Particle Debris is generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.



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