Apple Begins Work on Under Display Camera for iPhones: Report

iPhones with under display cameras
In Short
  • LG Innotek, Apple's display supplier has begun preliminary development of under-display cameras.
  • To achieve this feat, LG Innotek is developing a multiple lens system dubbed "freeform optic".
  • While initial development has begun, an all-screen iPhone could see the reality as late as 2027.

While Apple bought the Dynamic Island to even the non-pro iPhones with the iPhone 15 series, it is now reported that Apple is moving towards its aim of removing the Dynamic Island altogether in favor of an Under Display Camera on iPhones in the near future. A recent report states that Apple’s Korean suppliers have finally begun the development of under-display cameras (UDC) for the iPhones, paving the path for the first iPhone with an actual “all-screen” appearance.

As per the source at TheElec, LG Innotek is said to have begun preliminary development of the UPC (Under-Panel Camera), which eliminates the need for any hole on the display to accommodate the camera module.

How will Under Display Camera work on iPhones?

All-screen iPhone

To compensate for the loss of light, which is said to be a problem with all the Under Panel Camera systems present currently, LG Innotek is reportedly working on a special lens system called a “freeform optic” multiple lens system. With a freeform lens system, the thickness of the peripheral lens can be controlled, reducing the distortion and increasing the light intensity ratio around the optical module to improve peripheral image quality.

It is also reported that Apple received under-display camera samples for the iPhone from undisclosed companies but the tech giant found their quality to be sub-par. Thus, to bring the quality closer to Apple standards, LG Display, an affiliate of LG Innotek, aims to increase the light transmittance of the UPC from 20% by 2023 to 40% after 2024. For this, the display manufacturing company is planning to use a transparent PI substrate to replace the existing polyimide (PI) substrate

While this may sound like good news to many iPhone users, the truth is that we will have to wait till the iPhone 18 series to experience this new camera system. Reportedly, Apple is expected to adopt under-panel Face ID technology in 2025’s iPhone 17 Pro, which will include a circular cutout for the front-facing camera.

In 2027, Apple will then launch an all-screen iPhone with UPCs featuring in iPhone 19 Pro models.

Beebom’s Take

Samsung has been using an under-display camera module in its foldable since 2021. As we know Apple has always been the tech company that perfects a technology instead of launching it first. The same can be seen with under-display camera modules. Apple reduced the size of bezels in the iPhone 15 series and provided Dynamic Island on all models. It can be seen as a stop-gap towards the future with an iPhone having a screen all over. With an all-screen design, Apple will be able to accommodate more icons on the screen, something that many users would like to have on their iPhones.

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