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Apple vs. Samsung: Ambient Light and Proximity Sensing Devices Comparison

Product code
EUR 6990
Mobile & Consumer
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ALS and proximity sensor comparison for the latest three smartphone generations: Galaxy S7, S8 and S9 and iPhone 7, 8 and X.

Behind the screen, latest Apple’s smartphone is better than Samsung’s thanks to the Ambient Light Sensor (ALS), which allows better color management of the display. ams AG and STMicroelectronics are the leading suppliers of ALS and proximity sensors for consumers. Both are implicated in the supply chains of Samsung’s and Apple’s latest flagships.

System Plus Consulting has conducted a comparative review of the ALS and Proximity Sensor in the latest three flagships smartphones from Samsung and Apple. We analyze and compare the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 the Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X. We provide insights into the structure, technical choices, design, processes, supply chain positions and costs.

Of the two OEMs, Samsung has chosen to combine the two sensors in a single component, whereas Apple made the choice to keep them separate. Over the years, Samsung has improved the performance without changing its packaging footprint. Apple has kept the same supplier, STMicroelectronics, for its proximity sensor. However it has added features to each new generation, as in the latest the iPhone X, where the proximity sensor is combined with a flood illuminator. In this new iPhone the ambient light sensor is still supplied by ams, but has a multi-spectral feature.

This report includes an analysis of the packaging and the sensor die along with a cost analysis and a price estimate for the all devices. Finally, we compare device evolution by OEM and a cross-comparison to highlight their choices.

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  • Executive Summary
  • Devices Analyzed
  • Reverse Costing Methodology

Structure, Process and Cost Review

  • Samsung
    • Galaxy S7
      • Color sensor and proximity sensor
    • Galaxy S8
      • Color sensor and proximity sensor
    • Galaxy S9
      • Color sensor and proximity sensor
    • Samsung evolution
  • Apple
    • iPhone 7
      • Ambient light sensor
      • Proximity sensor
    • iPhone 8
      • Color sensor
      • Proximity sensor
    • iPhone X
      • Multi-spectral sensor
      • Proximity sensor and flood illuminator
    • Apple evolution
  • Comparison Apple vs. Samsung
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