The report does not provide any additional details, but a Chinese report from the Economic Daily News last month suggested the camera system will have a 6P lens design with up to 5x zoom and at least one 12-megapixel lens.
The addition of a third lens would likely enable 3x optical zoom on an iPhone for the first time, enabling users to magnify the image in the viewfinder by up to 3x without a blurry reduction in quality like digital zoom. iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models feature 2x optical zoom for comparison.
A triple-lens rear camera would likely be a feature reserved for Apple’s highest-end iPhones, so if accurate, this rumor probably applies to a third-generation iPhone X and/or iPhone X Plus launching around September 2019.
Huawei’s new P20 Pro smartphone is the first with a triple-lens rear camera system, including a 40-megapixel lens, a 20-megapixel monochrome lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. The Verge‘s Vlad Savov said he prefers the P20 Pro’s camera over those on the iPhone X and Galaxy S9.
For anyone hoping this might be a 2018 move instead, former KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously ruled out any significant changes occurring to the iPhone X’s current dual-lens rear camera system this year.