The iPhone 15 is one step closer to getting a periscope camera if recent reports about Apple‘s latest plans prove to be true. The next new iPhone will, of course, be the iPhone 14, which is expected to come around September this year. It might seem odd to hear about Apple planning on the iPhone 15 when that is still two generations ahead, but the iPhone 14 is most likely already in production and it’s the right time to be formulating plans for what’s next.

The term ‘periscope camera’ might sound strange since periscope is most commonly used to describe the long tube with mirrors and lenses that allow occupants of a submarine to peer above the surface when underwater. In the last few years, however, periscope cameras have become popular on Android phones and while no tubes pop out of the device, a similar structure is used internally. Since telephoto lenses tend to be much longer than wide-angle lenses, the angled view is used to turn that length sideways within the phone in order to keep the profile slim.

Related: Apple Using Samsung Tech To Bring Under-Display Face ID To iPhone 15 Pro

A supply chain leak suggests that Apple has found a company to manufacture the optical image stabilization (OIS) and autofocus modules for a rumored periscope telephoto camera for a future iPhone. The Elec reports that Jahwa Electronics is planning to build new facilities for these OIS actuators. Citing unnamed sources familiar with the plans, Jahwa will be devoting the entire output of the new production to one supplier and signs point to that being Apple. This is a large investment and the company already supplies components to Samsung for the Galaxy S22. Apple is among a small group of companies that would have such high demand and require exclusive production rights for new facilities. As construction will be needed, and Apple would have to approve, production will likely not begin until the second half of 2023, making this a solution for the iPhone 15.

iPhone 14 & 15 Telephoto Rumors

Apple iPhone 14 Render

Rumors from January suggest that Apple is planning to follow the Android trend of incorporating higher resolution image sensors, with a 48-megapixel camera expected for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. A periscope lens was mentioned as a possibility for the upcoming model but the latest news suggests this will take another year to arrive. That said, a 48-megapixel sensor is capable of a lossless digital zoom simply by cropping the image to the usual 12-megapixel resolution.

Google’s Pixel 6 Pro uses a 48-megapixel image sensor for its four times optical zoom lens, providing up to a 20 times hybrid zoom with somewhat usable quality. Apple might use a similar combination of a telephoto lens over a pixel-dense image sensor to greatly expand the range beyond the iPhone 13 Pro’s 3 times zoom, bringing the iPhone 15 Pro into competition with Android phones for longer range photography.