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Apple Keen on Sony’s 3D Camera Technology for its iPhones?

Some sound bites from Japanese giant Sony’s General Manager handling sensors, have kicked off speculation that Apple is considering fitting its future models of iPhones with Sony’s 3D cameras built on time of flight (ToF) based technology. Sony’s Satoshi Yoshihara, according to a report in Bloomberg Quaint, says Sony is scaling up its production of its sensors following demand from major smartphone manufacturers, but did not name any company.

Apple’s Plans to Switch to ToF Sensors Still a Speculation

Though this report from Bloomberg claims Apple is indeed keen on replacing its camera setups that function on the 3D structured light technology with Sony’s 3D ToF technology, there is, as such, no confirmation yet on this. Sony claims its technology is superior to Apple’s existing technology. But that can always be contested. Apple has been using this camera setup on several of its models for some time now and there have not been much complaints. Apple may consider some changes for its next year’s iPhones after taking note of what Samsung does with its 2019 Samsung Galaxy S10 models in February. iPhones are launched only in September and the company will have a good 6 months+ to work on anything new.

Apple 3D camera sensor

Some Substance in the Report However

Bloomberg has possibly based its report connecting Sony’s statement that it has received a lot of requests from smartphone makers for its 3D sensors and it is enhancing the production capabilities to meet the demand on some past developments. Apple is already buying a lot of its camera requirements from Sony and there have been occasions in the past where reports have emerged of the Cupertino based company of showing interest in the ToF sensors as well. There are other players in the ToF space besides Sony as well.

There is yet another perspective to the whole issue. There is a general sense that the sales of smartphones have been showing an overall declining trend. The reasons could be many. Phone makers have packed their devices with so many features already and priced them at levels where customers don’t find anything new and exciting and don’t wish to spend again in replacing their devices. The camera section appears to be the only area where something could be attempted. The smartphones have in a way closed the doors for the entry level digital cameras. Now, can the cameras in the new generation smartphones revive the fortunes of their own product range?

You will have to wait to know that one.

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