As part of the CEO’s supplier visit to Japan, Tim Cook admitted that Apple employs Sony image sensors in its iPhones. “We’ve been collaborating with Sony for over a decade to build the world’s leading camera sensors for iPhone,” Cook tweeted, thanking Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida for a tour of the Kumamoto site. A photograph shows Cook being shown his company’s smartphone, which is objectively hilarious.
In-depth details about Tim Cook reveals that Sony camera sensors are used in iPhones
Apple is notorious for keeping the specifications of the hardware components that go into each iPhone under wraps, so outright acknowledging that it has utilized Sony camera sensors for over a decade is noteworthy. Apple’s website often just lists the camera specifications of each iPhone, such as resolution, aperture, and field of view, rather than the individual components utilized. However, in the age of computational photography, hardware characteristics have become less important.
Nonetheless, multiple publications and industry rumors have pointed to Apple’s employment of Sony hardware throughout the years. According to a 2015 Wall Street Journal story, Apple used two Sony sensors in the iPhone 6, and previous iFixit teardowns have identified particular Sony model numbers. According to Nikkei Asia, Sony is the industry leader in image sensors, with 44 percent of the market share for CMOS image sensors last year. With a market share of 18.5 percent, Samsung is the second largest.
Tim Cook’s visit to Sony’s factory shows that this collaboration isn’t going away anytime soon, and a recent Nikkei Asia report provides some hints as to what the firms are working on for future iPhones. Sony is believed to have created a new picture sensor that employs a novel semiconductor architecture to collect more light while reducing both over- and underexposure. The new sensor is slated to ship to other smartphone manufacturers as well as Apple’s next generation of iPhones.