Along with his Japanese supplier trip, Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted an acknowledgment that Sony image sensors are used in iPhones. Cook tweeted his appreciation to Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida for giving him a tour of Sony’s Kumamoto factory, saying, “We’ve been cooperating with Sony for over a decade to build the world’s best camera sensors for iPhone.” Cook is shown a smartphone made by his own firm, which is a photo that is both hilarious and revealing.
Since Apple is notoriously secretive about the iPhone’s internal components, the unambiguous confirmation that it has utilised Sony camera sensors for more than a decade is noteworthy. Apple’s website often only lists the general parameters of each iPhone’s camera, such as resolution, aperture, and field of view, rather than the exact components utilised. In contrast, in the era of computational photography, hardware details have tended to be less important.
But several reports and speculations from the industry over the years have suggested that Apple uses Sony components. Previous iFixit teardowns have mentioned particular Sony model numbers, suggesting that Apple used two Sony sensors in the iPhone 6. Nikkei Asia reports that as of last year, Sony held 44% of the market share for CMOS image sensors, making it the industry leader. With a market share of18.5%, Samsung is now in second place.
A recent story in Nikkei Asia provides some indications as to what the firms are working on for future iPhones, and Tim Cook’s visit to Sony’s facilities shows that this cooperation is here to stay. Supposedly, Sony has created a new picture sensor that has a different semiconductor design to increase light collection while decreasing the chances of either over or underexposure. The new sensor will be included in the next generation of iPhones from Apple and will be distributed to other smartphone manufacturers.
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