Apple and Samsung are looking to solve the problem HTC couldn't

Apple and Samsung are looking to solve the problem HTC couldn't
Will Apple and Samsung follow HTC's lead?

Rumours that both Apple and Samsung are investigating dual-camera setups on future devices are gaining steam, as a new report claims that their interest has caused an increased demand for camera modules and other materials from the components industry.

The report, which comes from ETNews, suggests that both companies are choosing dual-cameras as their 'next-generation technologies', so it sounds like we could see them on commercial products sooner rather than later.

That makes a lot of sense, as smartphone manufacturers are nearing the limits of what can be achieved with a single-lens snapper, without massively increasing the size, which in turn would leave us with devices more like the Nokia Lumia 1020 or even the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, rather than the slim, lightweight handsets we're used to.

Plenty of potential

Dual-camera phones aren't a new thing either. HTC aimed to make a big deal of them with the HTC One M8 and while that camera had its issues it certainly impressed in some ways, allowing you to adjust the focus level of shots for example. There's plenty of untapped potential too, especially as on the M8 only one of the sensors was a true camera.

With two proper sensors a camera would be able to gather twice as much light for example and each sensor could concentrate on specific things when snapping a photo, for example one could shoot the subject and the other the background, combining them into one high quality image.

If Samsung and Apple do them right then we could see a leap in the photographic prowess of smartphones and with the two biggest names in the industry working on them they're bound to go mainstream.

We're not entirely convinced that we'll see this camera tech in time for the iPhone 6S, but we might not have to wait too long if it's already affecting demand for components. Plus Apple for example recently purchased LinX, which specialises in using sensor arrays on smartphone cameras, so it's seemingly invested in the technology.

Perhaps we'll see a dual-lens system on the iPhone 7 then and maybe even on the Samsung Galaxy S7.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.