FAQ: Why Are iPhone Cameras Stuck at Only 12 Megapixels?

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Ever since the iPhone 6s, Apple has included 12-megapixel cameras in its iPhone models. Though Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra rocks a whopping 108-megapixel camera, the megapixel count in the iPhone has remained the same for more than five years. Is Apple behind the times with its camera, or are there other good reasons Apple is stagnating on this feature?

Storage Space

Some people argue that Apple continues to use a 12-megapixel camera because of storage. The more megapixels you capture, the larger the file size of the photo. A 12-megapixel sensor strikes a nice balance between image quality and storage space.

It seems to be a good enough balance between the resolution size (which is sufficient for most people’s needs), camera specs (e.g. pixel size, ability to record 4k and such) and the drawbacks (file size, processing power needed to process the pictures etc.).


With the iPhone 12 Pro maxing out at 512GB, conserving storage space is essential. Avid photographers snapping pictures with a high-megapixel camera could run out of storage space pretty quickly. This storage crunch quickly could become frustrating for users who are forced to delete photos or download them offline to free up space on their iPhones.

Megapixel Madness?

Photographers chiming in on the megapixel bandwagon have no problem with Apple’s choice to stick with a 12-megapixel camera. It’s not the megapixels that are important but the quality of the sensor.

Megapixels mean nothing really, they are a sales gimmick. Yes they do affect an image but the size and quality of the sensor is much more important. The combination of a small sensor and a lower megapixel count is actually a great pairing.


Apple may not have boosted the pixels, but the company has improved the sensor and its image processing with each new iPhone it has released.

48-Megapixels on the Horizon

Apple may finally break the mold with the iPhone 14 in 2022, claims Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo. In an investor note released earlier this year, Kuo claimed Apple was working on a 48-megapixel camera that may be added to its Pro range of iPhones.

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