Home » Flashback: Apple is slow to adopt new tech, but only on iPhones

Flashback: Apple is slow to adopt new tech, but only on iPhones

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The iPhone 5 was announced on September 12, 2012, ten years ago. The first iPhone ditched the 30-pin dock connector inherited from the iPod and introduced the Lightning adapter.

This was the first reversible data connector for mobile devices. The previous one had “polarity” for both proprietary and USB. So there was only one correct orientation.

Once upon a time, this was an advantage over phones that used microUSB, but now it’s seen as a drawback and we’re just waiting for Apple to adopt USB-C.

Despite all its clout in the smartphone market, Apple can be very slow to adopt new technology. This week we’ll take a look at some examples, starting with his USB-C mentioned above.

USB-C: 8 years

Although it hasn’t happened yet, EU legislation makes it almost certain that Apple will switch iPhones to USB-C in 2023. The law won’t go into effect until his 2024, but because the new iPhones will be introduced at the end of the year. , analysts expect the switch to occur in 2023 with the iPhone 15 series.

iPhone X modded with USB-C port by Ken Pillonel
iPhone X modded with USB-C port by Ken Pillonel

iPhone X modded with USB-C port by Ken Pillonel

The EU, as well as the US and Brazil, are considering similar legislation that would make USB-C mandatory for mobile phones (and, not necessarily, other portable electronic devices).

The first Android phones using USB-C started appearing in 2015. That means Apple will be eight years late to this party. of My first phone was the LeTV One Max (remember LeTV?).

Funnily enough, this also means that five years after the first iPad switched from Lightning, we’ll see the first iPhone with USB-C (it was the 2018 iPad Pro). Even more interestingly, Apple released his 12-inch MacBook in 2015, one of the first ever USB-C devices.

Quad Bayer sensor: 4 years

After using 12MP cameras for several years, Apple has finally moved to higher resolution Quad Bayer sensors. This is only for Pro models, and of course Apple takes a conservative approach to adopting new technology.

Flashback: Apple is slow to adopt new tech, but only the iPhone

Flashback: Apple is slow to adopt new tech, but only the iPhone

For years, the Nokia 808 PureView reigned as the highest resolution camera phone, delivering 41MP with a standard Bayer filter. And in 2018, the selected Huawei P20 and Mate 20 will more or less match the 40MP sensor.At the end of 2018, Nokia finally (in terms of resolution) to the Huawei nova 4 and Honor View 20 and their 48MP cameras I lost.

Anyway, the Huawei P20 Pro camera had a Quad Bayer sensor, which was completely new for mobiles at the time. ), and the extra resolution allows for lossless digital zoom (as the 808 briefly demonstrated). Apply demosaicing to reverse the binning and get a higher resolution photo.

By the way, the Nokia 808 PureView was famous not only for the resolution of its camera sensor, but also for its size. The sensors on the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max are roughly the same size, with Nokia at 1/1.2 inch and iPhone at 1/1.28 inch.

5G: 1.5 years

The iPhone 11 series came out in 2019 and only has a 4G LTE modem. It won’t be until his iPhone 12 series in 2020 that Apple moves to his 5G. The reasoning behind this has nothing to do with market strategy or his Apple being his usual stubborn self.

Instead, it was an unpleasant combination of Apple and Qualcomm holding patents and Intel’s modem division failing to deliver. Apple finally had to settle with Qualcomm and now he’s using a Snapdragon X modem.

There were rumors that Samsung, MediaTek, and even Huawei might be supplying the modems, but they didn’t pan out (Huawei even denied this was an option. And Samsung didn’t have a spare modem, though).

Flashback: Apple is slow to adopt new tech, but only the iPhone

Now all attention is on Apple’s own modems division, including Intel’s modem business, which was sold to Cupertino in 2019. Some analysts believe the modems are ready for action. but is hampered by patent licensing issues.

The first 5G mobile phone was the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, launched in early 2019. If you don’t want to count the Moto Z3, announced in mid-2018 and with his optional 5G mod, it’s 2019, so the math doesn’t really change). So Apple is 18 months behind him, and it felt longer as the Android maker suddenly released dozens of his 5G phones.

Always On: 6 years (at least)

Apple pioneered LTPO display panels in 2019 as they needed additional energy efficiency to enable the Always-On Display mode on the Apple Watch Series 5. The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max are the first (and only) in the family with his AOD.

In the old days, some feature phones could switch the LCD to transflective mode. This resulted in a very readable and power efficient mode that allowed me to display the time and notification icons all week long. There were also odd phones like his YotaPhone with an e-Ink display on the back (e-Ink only uses power when updating, not when displaying a static image, so this was also always on). did).

Flashback: Apple is slow to adopt new tech, but only the iPhone

But those aside, the first Android smartphone to get AOD came out in 2016. These were the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG G5. Back then, AODs took a noticeable hit to standby battery life, but things are much better these days.

Above I dismissed the odd solution, but I think it’s worth mentioning. The 2015 LG V10 had a secondary display on top of the main display, with its own display driver and backlight so it was always on.

Wireless charging: 8 years

Like AOD, wireless charging first appeared on the Apple Watch (actually, it first appeared in 2014) and it would be years before it appeared on the iPhone. The first smartphone with wireless charging was the seminal Palm Pre, launched in 2009. The Pres was the only viable option for several years (it had a fancy magnetic Touchstone charger).

Other platforms eventually offered wireless options, such as the Nokia Lumia 920 from 2012 and the Nexus 4. It took a while, but eventually everyone settled on the Qi standard (PMA for several years).

Flashback: Apple is slow to adopt new tech, but only the iPhone

The 2017 iPhone 8 and X generations marked the end of the classic iPhone design and the dawn of the notch, and also brought wireless charging support to Apple’s phones. Then in 2020 Apple announced his MagSafe. MagSafe included magnets (and snap-on accessories like wallets) to hold the phone and charger securely in place. Of course, Pre has been doing that from the beginning.

Notch: 3 months

You might think the iPhone X brought the notch curse to the world, but you’d be wrong. Although technically incorrect, the iPhone X is certainly a popular mobile phone.

but it wasn’t of Not one, but two Android phones are three months ahead. The Sharp Aquos S2 launched his August 14th, followed a few days later by the Essential Phone. Both pushed the LCD up to the top of the phone, leaving the selfie camera on a sort of peninsula, aka a notch.

A notch is born: Sharp's Aquos 2
Birth of the Notch: Essential Phone

Birth of Notch: Sharp Aquos 2 • The Essential Phone

Of course, the slim top bezel wasn’t the only thing that attracted Android makers to this design. The iPhone X did away with the fingerprint reader and offered his 3D face scan as a secure way to unlock the phone. Android makers tinkered with similar technology (and related tech like Google’s Project Soli radar), but quickly reverted to fingerprint readers.

Of course, these days that means under-display fingerprint readers on many entry-level and above phones. someday.

I think this is a good place to leave things for the day. There’s a lot we didn’t mention – we mentioned the fingerprint reader, but this technology predates the iPhone 5s. However, it was the first call to get the FP reader to work properly as previous attempts (recorded in this post) did not work properly.

There are other areas that need to be covered, such as water resistance, selfie camera autofocus, and more. and “Dynamic Island,” which is a better marketing punch-hole. If there is enough interest, you can do part 2.


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