Advanced optical zoom cameras are expected to set premium smartphones apart, with Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies vying for the lead, according to industry sources on Mar. 5.
Both tech companies will be adding more models embedded with such cameras that allow for longer focal distances without disrupting the handset design.
Samsung first used the 5X optical zoom for its Galaxy S20 Ultra model this year that allows for users to take photos and enlarge it by up to 100x times via digital zoom technology with nearly no resolution loss. Samsung is expected to add more such models after analyzing the market response.
Huawei, meanwhile, is expected to apply the 10X optical zoom to the P40 Pro that is due out during the first half of 2020. The P30 Pro that it sold in 2019 had already been applied with the 5X optical zoom technology. “Huawei is looking to target the market with 5G and premium smartphones with highly improved features, including cameras,” said one market watcher.
Vivo, an affiliate of Oppo, also recently said that it has applied 5 ~ 7.5X zoom optical cameras to its latest smartphone, the APEX. Oppo has been applying 5X zoom optical cameras since 2019, as well.
In correspondence with such moves by the market movers, Samsung Electro-Mechanics and MCNEX are developing even more advanced optical zoom camera modules to be embedded in the Galaxy S series due out in 2021.
As Samsung Electro-Mechanics has already supplied Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra with the 5X optical zoom, next year’s models are likely to feature up to 10X zoom tech, according to those close to the matter.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics is currently also aiming to sell to Chinese companies, as it had said in its fourth quarter earnings report in 2019. In 2019, it had supplied Oppo with 5X optical zoom modules.
The Samsung affiliate nor MCNEX, for that matter, are not expected to supply the modules to Huawei. “Samsung Electro-Mechanics won’t be supplying one of Samsung’s fiercest rivals,” said one market expert. Huawei is seen to be supplied by Sunny Optical for the optical zoom parts.
Samsung Electronics seems to have gained an edge over its rivals in terms of folded zoom after acquiring Israeli firm Corephotonics that had been developing the technology with Oppo. This means Samsung Electronics has also attained related patents. In 2019, Corephotonics had filed a patent infringement suit against Apple. The California-based tech company has applied the 2X optical zoom camera to its iPhone Pro Max.
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