If you ever wondered why the iPhone camera is among the top rated in the industry, it is because Apple has an army of people working on developing its technology. The company has more than 800 engineers working on perfecting the camera, arguably the most used part of the iPhone. In a wide-ranging interview, the company’s executives laid bare the great effort that goes into their devices.
Speaking to 60 Minutes’ Charlie Rose, Graham Townsend, Apple Senior Director of Camera Hardware, revealed that the tiny camera module on the iPhone 6s Plus is made of 200 individual parts. To just get an idea of how important this aspect of the phone is to Apple, Townsend added that the company has a team of more than 800 engineers that work on it. Inside the camera are four tiny wires, Townsend said, that create a “microsuspension” to offset the shakes and disturbances raising from a user’s hands. Each wire is thinner than a human hair.
Why iPhone Camera So Special
Then he demonstrated how Apple simulates various conditions to test out the camera’s performance, from sunsets to lousy indoor lighting. “We can simulate all those here,” Townsend said. Apple’s competitors certainly conduct many of those same tests, but the sheer size of Apple’s camera team shows you how high up on the priority list it’s risen. Apple has built entire ad campaigns around the iPhone’s camera, and always makes it a point to highlight improvements with each new iPhone revision.
There’s a lab inside Apple’s campus where it assesses the camera output. Some engineers test the camera photographs in a range of lighting situations and make the required calibration for getting the best shot. “To capture one image, there’s actually 24 billion operations going on,” Townsend told Rose.
The interview also saw Apple executives talk about its stand on encryption, taxation, and land labour, among other aspects.