After publishing a self-promoting
infographic that takes a look at the
history of photography, it's pretty
obvious that HTC has something up its
sleeve concerning smartphone cameras.
While the company didn't carve out clear
cut details of what it has in store, the
popular Taiwanese phone maker did give
a vague idea of when things will
transpire. The final entry in the
company's little history lesson concludes
in current times with an entry stating
"HTC kicks off a new sound and camera
experience in 2013." While we're really
not into playing guessing games, we can't
help but wonder if the firm's exclusive
relationship with Beats will have an
impact on the audio portion of its plans.
Hopefully HTC's pre-MWC festivities will
shed a bit of light on what the company
has been working on.
If you're not familiar with Foveon, go look at Sigma's cameras. They are to date the only consumer product available with a Foveon sensor. (With the sole exception of the briefly-available, abortive Polaroid x530, which shipped and was then recalled for image quality problems, before sinking without a trace. Other than that, Foveon has only ever been used in a handful of industrial cameras, and in Sigma's products.)
That's not to say Foveon didn't try to sell the technology, but rather that they couldn't. And eventually, they gave up and were absorbed by what was essentially their only customer; Sigma now owns them. They have a small but faithful following, and they have both advantages (color resolution and lack of color moiré / aliasing, for example) and disadvantages (high ISO sensitivity / noise, color channel separation, and sometimes bizarre artifacts). For certain uses they can be great, but they're not a mass-market consumer product.
Despite their initial claim all those years ago to have been focusing on mobile as a key area for their tech, we've never seen a Foveon camera with a smaller sensor than 1/1.8" (far bigger than almost all smartphones), and we've never seen a non-recalled product with a smaller sensor than 20.7 x 13.8mm (ie. 1.7x focal length crop; an SLR-sized sensor.) Foveon apparently had significant issues they couldn't resolve at smaller pixel sizes.
And as for this rumor, well... I don't put much faith in it. My guess is Pocket-lint's misunderstood or been misled by a source. The story simply doesn't make sense; HTC don't have the weight to get first call on a new tech like this unless nobody else really wants it. And if nobody else wants it, there's a reason for that.
Note I'm not saying work doesn't continue on full-color sensors. It does. I just don't see it appearing in mobile any time soon, and I don't see it being in HTC first when it finally does.
Originally Posted by hamdir
yup rumours are already speaking of a Sony Exmor Sensor
In which case, "Ultrapixels" is nothing more than marketing fluff.
Head of an Android household: HTC One X+ International 64GB, HTC One X International 32GB, Google Nexus 10, two hopelessly unstable Asus Eee Pad Transformers (32GB and 16GB, each with keyboard docks; remember -- friends don't let friends buy Asus), Samsung Galaxy Ace, and a Fuhu Nabi 2.
What Pocket-lint described is a stacked sensor, much like Foveon (and nothing like the filtered sensor of Sony.)
Yes, you're right. I'm familiar with the technologies and realise that the IMX135 doesn't match the description on the Pocket Lint website at all. However, I took a bit of a punt on the possibility that the M7 might well have the 13MP sensor that was originally expected, but then use some form of software binning technique implemented via the Image Signal Processor (ISP).
I also thought that the rumours of combining three images might have something to do with EDoF, which HTC ingeniously implemented alongside autofocus in the One X (but didn’t seem to market at all). While the autofocus mechanism was great for handling near field stuff, an asymmetrical lens arrangement allowed each of the RGB components of the light spectrum to be split and focused independently. The ISP (ImageSense in the case of the One X) then stacked the three images into a single photo with a greater depth of field.
It would/could be great news if HTC do have a completely new sensor in the phone. However, they must have kept it under tighter wraps than the M7 its self
New flagship smartphone "M7" and Chinese growth raise hopes for a turnaround
For embattled Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) the audited version of fiscal Q4 2012 financials brought a bit of good news and a bit of bad news.
On the one hand HTC's profitability slide continued, with net profit dropping to NT$1B ($33.82B USD) -- or an earnings per share of NT$1.21 ($0.04 USD/share). On the other hand, that beat analyst predictions by over 20 percent. A survey of 17 analysts by Financial Times predicted earnings of NT$0.97 per share.
Quarterly revenue fell at NT$60B ($2.03B USD), slightly less than the analyst consensus of NT$61.7B. However, the a better-than-expected 23 percent gross margin and reduced operating margin of 1 percent drove up the profit slightly, despite the revenue miss.
HTC posted a troubling outlook for Q1 2013, though, suggesting revenue could dip as low as NT$50B. In Q1 2012, HTC pulled in NT$67.8B in revenue.
HTC Chief Financial Officer Chang Chia-Lin looked to cheer up analysts in the conference call, announcing plans to aggressively target the Chinese market with more affordable smartphones. HTC is one of the fastest growing players in the Chinese market, the world's largest smartphone market. However, price is an obstacle to its growth -- its cheapest model is 1,999 yuan ($320).
HTC wiill sell cheaper smartphones in China this year. [Image Source: Cult of Mac]
CFO Chia-Lin remarks, "We're going to go down, but not below 1,000. We see there's still room to play [in 1,000 to 2,000 yuan phones]."
A new flagship smartphone, code-named "M7" is also in the works. Expected to launch mid-month at events in New York City and London, the phone is rumored to feature a super-high resolution camera.
Overall Taiwan's stock market rose 12 percent in 2012. However, HTC's stock was pounded down 40 percent as revenue and profits slid downward. A major culprit is a weakening brand. While HTC is still a top tier Android phonemaker, it has fallen far behind Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) in brand image.
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