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Camera Module Comparison 2021 Vol. 2 – iPhone Evolution - Camera and Module Overview (to scale) - System Plus Consulting

Camera Module Comparison 2021 Vol. 2 – Apple iPhone Evolution

Published
01/06/2021
Product code
SPR21553
Price
EUR 6490
Applications
Consumer
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Apple’s camera design choices from the iPhone 6S Plus to the 12 Pro Max.

Camera Module Comparison 2021 Vol. 2 – iPhone Evolution - Camera and Module Overview (to scale) - System Plus Consulting

Over 1.3B smartphones shipped in 2020, and 15% of those were iPhones.  Apple is widely considered an innovation leader, and iPhone cameras are consistently ranked among the best in the industry.  Continuing our series of camera module comparison reports, we summarize the results of detailed physical analyses and costing studies to compare the cameras of the iPhone 6S Plus, 7 Plus, 8 Plus, X, XS Max, 11 Pro Max, and 12 Pro Max. This report aims to offer insight into the physical and cost evolution of the camera modules and CMOS image sensors in the last six years of Apple flagship smartphones.

The analysis covers the rear and front-facing RGB camera modules as well as the front-facing Near Infrared (NIR) module. This includes the complete structure, design, and all components of the camera modules. It covers the dimensions, technology nodes and stacking technology in the CMOS image sensors.  The rear-facing LiDAR camera in the 12 Pro Max is not covered, but the reader is encouraged to discover the essentially identical LiDAR module in the related report Apple iPad Pro LiDAR Module.

Over the years, the rear camera has evolved with the market trend from a single to dual and finally a triple camera system.  The front camera has also evolved from a single camera to the dual-camera TrueDepth system.  The overall design of the AutoFocus/Optical Image Stabilisation (AF/OIS) system has remained very consistent until the introduction of Sensor-shift OIS in the iPhone 12 Pro Max.  See our dedicated report Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Rear Camera for a deep dive into this technology.

All rear sensors have 12 megapixels (Mp) despite the trend among other leading OEMs to go as high as 108 Mp. This has allowed Apple to sometimes retain image sensors between iPhone generations while improving camera performance from module upgrades and algorithm tweaks.

Camera Module Comparison 2021 Vol. 2 – iPhone Evolution - Phone X Rear Wide CIS SRAM Transistors – SEM Image - System Plus Consulting Camera Module Comparison 2021 Vol. 2 – iPhone Evolution - iPhone 11 Pro Max Rear Telephoto CIS Cross-Section - System Plus Consulting Camera Module Comparison 2021 Vol. 2 – iPhone Evolution - iPhone 11 Pro Max Rear Telephoto CIS Cross-Section - System Plus Consulting

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Overview/Introduction

  • Executive Summary
  • Reverse Costing Methodology
  • Glossary

Companies and Supply Chain

  • Apple, Sony, LG Innotek, STMicro
  • Players and Market
  • Supply Chain

Physical Comparison and Evolution

  • Camera Overviews
  • Physical Comparison
  • Overview of the Physical Analysis                           

Manufacturing Processes

  • Camera Module Structure
  • Image Sensor Manufacturing Processes

Cost Comparison

  • CMOS Image Sensor Cost Comparison
    • Front-End Comparison
    • Front Camera Die Cost Comparison
    • Rear Camera Die Cost Comparison
  • Camera Module Cost Comparison
    • Front Camera Modules
    • Rear Single and Dual Camera Modules
    • Rear Triple Camera Modules
  • Camera Cost Breakdown
  • Camera Price Comparison

Detailed Physical Analysis

  • Front Cameras
    • Infrared
    • iPhone 11 & 12
    • iPhone XS Max
    • iPhone X
    • iPhone 8 Plus
    • iPhone 7 Plus
    • iPhone 6S Plus
  • Rear Cameras
    • iPhone 12 Pro Max
    • iPhone 11 Pro Max
    • iPhone XS Max
    • iPhone X
    • iPhone 8 Plus
    • iPhone 7 Plus
    • iPhone 6S Plus

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