Apple Decided on the iPhone 13’s Camera Sensor and Bionic Chip Three Years Ago

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 28 Sep 2021

iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

It is no secret that Apple starts working on its iPhones months before launch. After all, the company has to consider tons of factors and fine-tune the hardware before it hits the production line. Apple’s top executive has revealed that iPhone 13 camera sensors and A15 Bionic were planned three years before the release.

Apple’s VP of camera hardware engineering, Graham Townsend, spoke with British GQ. The executive talked about how the company chooses camera hardware and the thought process behind the same. While talking about iPhone, Townsend said that iPhone camera sensors and processors had been “frozen” three years prior. In other words, Apple has already decided chipset and camera sensors for iPhone 15! This gives the team ample time to optimize the user experience and test new camera features.

The planning has to start about three years ahead, because that’s when we actually fix the specification of the silicon,” says Townsend. “So, for instance, the sensor gets defined at that point and the A15 Bionic processor is also frozen. That’s when we have to begin to talk with Jon and predict the experiences that we want. Obviously, when we designed the new ultra-wide lens, we were going to deliver macro photos. But how is that going to work both in stills and video?

While some of us are contemplating about iPhone 14, Apple already has the specs ready for the device. Planning hardware options three years prior to the launch is a remarkable feat. Especially considering the fast pace with which technology keeps on evolving. Furthermore, the early planning could come in handy if anything goes wrong closer to the launch.

Our Take

iPhones are known for superlative user experience. Apple has stayed out of the specs race and instead focuses on offering an unparalleled user experience. In a recent interview, an Apple executive talked about iPhone 13’s Cinematic Mode and efforts that went behind the scenes.

[via British GQ]