Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that the US tech giant has entered into a long partnership with Japan’s Sony that allows the use of Sony’s imaging sensors in iPhones.
“We’ve partnered with (Sony) for more than a decade to create the world’s leading camera sensors for iPhones,” Cook said in a tweet thanking Sony CEO Kenshiro Yoshida.
Apple is largely secretive about the details of the hardware components that go into making the iPhone, so it was remarkable Cook’s frank assertion that it has been using Sony camera sensors for more than a decade.
Apple’s website tends to list the specifications of each iPhone camera — such as resolution, aperture, and field of view — rather than the specific components used in the camera.
However, many reports and rumors over the years have indicated that Apple used Sony devices, as a report in 2015 stated that Apple was using two sensors from Sony. Sony in the iPhone 6, and the disassembly of an Apple phone by iFixit revealed parts with specific Sony model numbers.
Sony is a market leader in image sensors, with a 44% market share of CMOS image sensors as of 2021. Samsung is the second largest company with a market share of 18.5%.
Tim Cook’s visit to a Sony facility indicates that the relationship between the two companies will not end soon, while a recent report revealed some information about what the two companies are working on for future iPhone devices.
There is talk among those interested in technology about Sony’s development of a new image sensor that uses a new semiconductor structure to capture more light and reduce over or underexposure.
The new sensor is expected to appear in Apple’s next generation of iPhones, but it will also be sold to other smartphone makers.