Apple could finally fix iPhone’s longstanding camera flare problem


iPhone 14 Pro's camera module
Could Apple finally solve the flaring issue on iPhone photos and videos?
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple could finally eliminate lens flare, a longtime problem with the iPhone camera, with a new lens coating technology on the iPhone 16 Pro.

It’s common for lens flares to show up in photos or videos taken with an iPhone’s camera, but Apple has made little improvement in this area over generations.

New ALD coating can help reduce lens flare

A rumor originating from China by leaker @Yeux1122 says Apple is testing new atomic layer deposition, aka ALD, equipment for a special coating that will help reduce lens flares. The company seemingly will only use the coating on the iPhone 16 Pro models.

Lens flare on iPhones has been an issue since the 2012 iPhone 5. Over the years, Apple has used various coatings and improved glass lenses to enhance light transmission and reduce flares. But despite the company’s best efforts, the issue remains and is mainly prevalent while recording videos. The new ALD coating might help Apple reduce flaring to a large extent, if not fix it entirely.

Besides reducing glare, the coating can help improve light transmission and unwanted flaring.

Apple works on big antireflective upgrades for future iPhones

The new coating could be one of the many camera upgrades Apple is planning for the iPhone 16 Pro. A previous leak indicates the iPhone’s camera module could get a radical redesign, helping it stand out from the previous generation of the phone.

Given this leak’s timing, there’s a possibility of the ALD coating not being ready for use in the iPhone 16 Pro series. In that case, Apple could use the coating on the iPhone 17 Pro in 2025.

Like the camera coating, Apple is testing a major antireflective update for the iPhone 17’s display. It will help reduce glares and reflection while also improving the scratch resistance of the cover glass.


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