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Smartphone makers partner camera, optics firms

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Update time : 2021-01-02 10:33:52

Smartphone makers partner camera, optics firms

By MA SI | China Dail | Updated: 2020-12-31 09:07
Vivo's X series of smartphones are displayed at a 5G expo in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province. [Photo by LI ZHIHAO/FOR CHINA DAILY]
Chinese smartphone makers are teaming up with professional camera and optical component makers to better meet growing demand of consumers for superior photo-taking and video-shooting capabilities in the 5G era.
Vivo launched its X60 series of smartphones on Tuesday, featuring a quad-camera setup with optics from Zeiss, a German manufacturer of optical systems and optical electronics. The move came shortly after Vivo announced a long-term partnership with Zeiss, to jointly promote and develop breakthrough innovations in mobile imaging technology. Under the deal, Vivo and Zeiss will establish the Vivo Zeiss Imaging Lab, a joint research and development program to innovate mobile imaging technology for Vivo's flagship smartphones.
Similarly, Oppo, another major smartphone maker in China, is also banking on strong camera capabilities to attract consumers, with its latest flagship smartphone featuring a high-end lens jointly developed with Sony.
The latest smartphone, called Oppo Reno5 Pro Plus, was unveiled last week and comes with cutting-edge cameras, with the primary lens being an IMX766 sensor, which was jointly developed with Sony. The sensor is able to take in more light compared with rival products, which translates to brighter and clearer photos and videos, Oppo said.
Huawei Technologies Co, the largest smartphone maker in China, has partnered with Leica Camera AG, a German premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products, to boost the camera performance on its smartphones for a long time.
Huang Haifeng, an independent expert who has been following the smartphone industry for more than a decade, said the intimate partnership between smartphone vendors and professional optics product makers shows that consumers have high expectations for the video-shooting capabilities of smartphones in the 5G era.
"Short videos are already gaining traction among consumers, and 5G is expected to provide momentum for explosive growth in videos created by ordinary people. Consumers are more willing to buy phones that enhance their ability to shoot quality videos," Huang said.
The number of internet audio-and-video users in China reached 901 million as of June, covering 95.8 percent of all internet users in the country, according to a report from the China Netcasting Services Association. Among the various segments of the online audiovisual industry, short videos have the largest market share. Total users of short video platforms reached 818 million as of June.
Smartphone makers' efforts to attract video fans also comes as more Chinese consumers are willing to outgrow their 4G handsets and buy new 5G ones, which has intensified competition.
Domestic shipments of 5G mobile phones reached 144 million units in the first 11 months of this year, with 199 new models hitting the market, said Wen Ku, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
During the third quarter of this year, Huawei continued to lead the 5G smartphone market in China, with a market share of 56.6 percent, according to market research company International Data Corp. Oppo and Vivo had market shares of 16.2 percent and 14.5 percent during the same period.
 
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