A lot of components go into building an iPhone, and one of those components is a voice coil motor (VCM), something which this year Apple is reportedly using a lot more of due to planned camera upgrades in the iPhone 13.
That’s according to DigiTimes Asia, which claims that Apple is increasing VCM orders this month, and will continue increasing them through July, with the overall number of VCM’s for Apple hardware apparently set to match the total number used in Android devices this year.
So why does Apple need so many VCMs? The sheer popularity of its phones doesn’t account for this, as the company is apparently ordering more than usual. Rather, the sources speaking to DigiTimes claim that it’s down to upgrades in the camera modules and the 3D sensors for Face ID.
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This is the first we’ve heard about improvements to Face ID, but there are various camera upgrades expected. While this report doesn’t name a specific upgrade that VCMs would help with, we’ve previously heard that they might be used for sensor-shift OIS (optical image stabilization) on the entire iPhone 13 range.
That’s a feature that’s so far exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro Max among Apple’s phones, and it would allow the sensor to move in response to camera shake, in order to deliver blur-free shots. That’s in contrast to the image stabilization used by most phones, which instead moves the lens, and is typically less effective.
It’s worth noting that a VCM could also be used for a periscope camera (which typically allows for longer range zoom), but this report doesn’t specifically mention that, and while there are rumors of an iPhone with a periscope camera, we’re not expecting that this year.
Of course, we’d take all of this with a pinch of salt anyway, but based on various rumors it certainly sounds like a number of camera upgrades are planned for the iPhone 13.
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