Cook went to the Sony factory, the iPhone 15 camera upgrade may not be far away

For the iPhone, Apple seldom mentions the specific model of its hardware, and more expresses the specifications.

More than that, in the follow-up details of the official website, the specific supplier status is also chosen to keep a low profile, and it is rare to take the initiative to indicate which brand the key components such as the screen and camera are from.

In the eyes of Apple, the announcement of these details will not improve the user experience, and their description of the product pays more attention to how to improve the "user experience."

For this reason, Apple will also use some easy-to-understand vocabulary to indicate the features brought by some new models of hardware. Retina screens, bionic chips, all-weather displays, and more.

Doing so has a high probability of causing three results.

One is that ordinary users only remember the Apple brand, and even have the illusion of "exclusive" new technology.

Second, to arouse curiosity, many non-governmental organizations, such as iFixit, focus on deciphering the hardware model used by disassembling the phone.

Thirdly, manufacturers other than Apple began to focus on flaunting the first release of new hardware, and the implication was actually alluding to "beyond Apple."

The hardware components of Apple's iPhone are almost all from the industry's top suppliers, but Apple has more in-depth customization, and it is difficult to be "surpassed" by other manufacturers.

In the other camp, the behavior of flaunting or rushing to launch is more like a marketing method. Behind the talk, it does not necessarily have a better effect on the "user experience".

Previously, Apple hid hardware details and brought three results to the industry and other manufacturers. With manufacturers' understanding of high-end, it is also quietly changing.

Apple let go, the iPhone has used Sony sensors for more than ten years

Apple in 2022 has twists and turns.

▲ iPad 10 and Apple Pencil Gen1

Due to the confusion of positioning and the transition period, the iPad product line and iPadOS have been controversial.

After understanding the process dividends, the performance of the M2 was not as shocking as the M1. At the same time, the M2 Pro and M2 Ultra at the end of the year were also postponed due to some subjective and objective reasons.

The iPhone 14 series, which is preparing to turn the tide at the end of the year, also has a poor supply situation.

In terms of high-level personnel, Apple has also made a lot of changes, which may have a great impact on Apple's product line planning and design.

Various variables, coupled with the end of the year, Apple also postponed the original MacBook Pro update plan, and Tim Cook also took time to visit Japanese suppliers to get acquainted with the relationship and continue to cooperate in depth.

During his visit to Sony's Kumamoto factory, Tim Cook also publicly stated through Twitter that Apple and Sony have worked together for more than a decade to create the world's leading camera sensor for the iPhone.

This is also the first time since the iPhone was released more than a decade ago that it has publicly acknowledged the use of a Sony image sensor. Previously, Apple only listed pixels, aperture and focal length on the official website, and focused on the introduction of camera functions.

The specific sensor brand and model are not mentioned. Previously, iFixit and some foreign media confirmed that the iPhone uses Sony sensors through dismantling. Even on the iPhone 6, they found two different sensor models.

Apple hides specific models and seems to retain the practice of mixing hardware.

While visiting the Sony factory, Nikkei Asia also said that Apple and Sony should jointly equip future iPhone cameras with a new sensor that can capture more light and bring better exposure.

Tim Cook's news actually has an intention to warm up the next-generation iPhone. On the other hand, it is actually revealing that for some key component suppliers, Apple is not "bringing doctrine", but cooperating with them to bring better results to the product.

The result can be better imaging, a better user experience, and even some functions that can solve pain points.

It is reported that Sony's new model of sensor will not be exclusively for the iPhone, but will also be provided to other manufacturers, including some Android manufacturers.

▲ Not only Sony, Tim Cook also visited the Apple Watch Ultra strap factory

Sharing the same model with other manufacturers does not directly mean that Apple has been tied or reached an inflection point.

In fact, from the release of the iPhone to the present, Apple's advantage is far from the use of higher-spec, high-quality hardware, but how to bring out the hardware advantages in a unique form on the software side.

▲ The smart island based on the perforated screen is one of them

In terms of some new features, Apple is more of a latecomer, with a unique understanding of user experience, and it will always be a "late striker."

We focus on the software experience all the year round, not in the "first release" and "exclusive" hardware. We will link these unique experiences with its brand, and subtly, it will also make Apple's position in the industry very special.

Android manufacturers: After more than ten years of Sony's first release, I don't need to mention it in the future

"High-end" is something that many Android manufacturers have been trying to do in recent years.

At the beginning, their ideas were relatively simple. If they wanted high-end products, they had to stack materials first and focus on technical details.

▲ The charging head has high power and small size

Naturally, it has certain effects. For example, the high-power fast charging technology of Android manufacturers has really changed our charging habits.

At the same time, for the problem of heat accumulation under high performance, an excessive amount of vapor chamber was added in the limited space.

But the rush to start or the exclusive period still exists. During the promotion process, the sensor model or screen characteristics will still be advertised.

Compared with Apple, which has been self-contained for many functional terms for decades, Android manufacturers seem to need an industry endorsement in a short period of time.

Samsung screens, Sony sensors, and other suppliers belonging to big brands, as well as certifications from authoritative organizations such as DisplayMate+, DxO Mark, etc., have gradually become a common practice for Androids who want to "benchmark" iPhones in a short period of time.

But for consumers, such a large-scale publicity will ultimately leave the brand impression of big brands such as Samsung and Sony, rather than the more focused "user experience". For the brand power of Android products, it will promote not so useful.

It's more like "used-ism" than its own uniqueness. As these hardware models have gradually become an open secret in the industry, high-end is not just stacking.

After several years of high-end struggle, Android manufacturers seem to understand two things. One is to pay attention to the use of "experience" instead of blindly pursuing the first launch. Some new functions and features.

▲ Mi 13 Pro main camera in two styles Left: Leica Classic, Right: Leica Vivid

In terms of images, even though the same Sony CMOS is used, the marriage with different optical manufacturers has brought different orientations in color, and there is also a certain pursuit of straight-out tone.

It can be said that many Android manufacturers have almost begun to pursue their own image aesthetics instead of generating images according to traditional algorithms.

In addition, in the self-developed chip industry, although it may only have started in recent years, in terms of power chips, NPU, ISP, etc., there has been a synergy between hardware and software, and the moats of various brands are gradually being established.

In the recent release of the Xiaomi Mi 13 series and the vivo X90 series, for the imaging system, the hardware parameters and technical details, which are too esoteric, are basically rarely deducted, but focus on focal length selection, new functions of the lens, and direct imaging. Color it up.

They no longer need it. By comparing with their peers, or taking Sony and Samsung as endorsements, the aesthetics of images has begun to form its own style, and it is linked to its own brand and becomes part of the brand's product strength.

It is still too early to say whether the high-end of Android manufacturers has "succeeded", but after "stacking", at this stage, they no longer pursue hardware parameters, but pursue a higher level of "user experience". The direction is right up.

Interestingly, after Tim Cook tweeted his visit to Sony's Kumamoto factory, many foreign media said that it is the era of "computational photography", and the specific hardware details are no longer so important.

In addition, before the concept of computational photography became widely known, Google also used extremely strong algorithms to avoid hardware disadvantages, and created a legend of "the strongest single camera".

However, as the mobile phone imaging system continues to be comprehensive, Google, which once emphasized the algorithm, also uses multiple cameras on the Pixel, and the iPhone, which "does not pay attention" to the sensor, has also begun to openly cooperate with Sony.

In addition, Android, which has always been willing to flaunt hardware specifications, has also begun to gradually omit specific parameters, but expresses how it improves user experience in an "easy-to-understand" way.

The similarities and differences in the experience will also be directly linked to the brand, and eventually become a business card and label of their respective brands, and those hardware details may eventually return to iFixit, a geek organization, instead of Become a talking point.

The gradual change from high-end thinking may also be the beginning of a gradual "benchmarking" of the iPhone.

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