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Om Malik on the iPhone 7 and the Camera Industry

Om Malik, writing for The New Yorker:

The distinct business advantage that Apple has achieved thanks to its hardware is the sheer volume of iPhone sales, which justifies the big spending on the specialized chips that make that hardware so powerful. The new image processor is a perfect example. It can spread the cost of that investment in chips over hundreds of millions of iPhones. In comparison, the falling sales of stand-alone cameras have hampered the ability of camera companies to innovate and spend on core technologies. Given that hardware and software are equally important today, Apple’s advances in both areas makes it difficult for anyone to beat the company in photography for the masses. You can see why the camera companies are doomed.

Another factor is that it now feels natural to be able to share photos across the internet as soon as you’ve snapped them. There are times when I’ll take a photo with my iPhone even when I have my Fuji X100S with me, simply because I want to post it to Instagram or Twitter, or send it to someone privately on iMessage.

Thursday, 8 September 2016