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iPhone 13 camera upgrade may cause Apple to use more key components than entire Android market

Apple has instructed its suppliers to increase the production of a key camera component, in order to meet the demand for iPhone 13 series post its launch.

twitter-logoSarthak Dogra | June 10, 2021 | Updated 19:57 IST

Highlights

  • iPhone 13 is speculated to come with a major camera upgrade.
  • More camera features will be introduced across the differently priced iPhone models.
  • Apple is expected to demand a much higher quantity of a key camera component from its suppliers than before in the coming months.

For the launch of the iPhone 13 series later this year, Apple is instructing its suppliers to ramp up the production of components needed for the iPhones. One such is the voice coil motor (VCM) that enables the focus function in a camera.

Since the new generation of iPhones has been speculated to come with highly improved camera setups, there is an expected demand surge for VCM in the coming months. It is being reported that Apple has already asked related component suppliers to increase their capacities by 30-40 per cent.

The anticipation has been recorded in a DigiTimes report citing Taiwan-based voice coil motor (VCM) suppliers. The suppliers expect order pull-ins from Apple to gain strength starting this month. Sources say that the increased demand will serve the camera upgrades in the coming iPhone lineup.

Other than the speculated upgrades in the iPhone 13 camera modules, 3D sensors needed for Face ID will also contribute to this increased use of VCMs. With this surge, suppliers predict that Apple's VCMs consumption will be at par with that of all the Android smartphone OEMs combined.

This also holds true due to the significant drop in VCM demands for Huawei's high-end CIS and optical lens following the US sanctions. The report mentions that the demand from Oppo, Xiaomi and Vivo is also significant for the components, but the volumes just don't match those of Apple.

As for Apple, the increased demand for VCMs had long been predicted with the company's work on the iPhone cameras. Apple is likely to introduce its sensor-shift OIS technology on all four models of the iPhone 13 series, namely iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Voice coil motors play a crucial role for this upgrade.

Sensor-shift stabilisation is a counterbalance technique for maintaining focus on a particular point while shooting videos. Also known as In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS), the method uses a floating sensor that balances the camera shakes while shooting with the camera. The counterbalance inside the sensor enables smooth video recordings that are free of shakes that otherwise plague several video recordings.

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