There is one thing missing from this emerging class of super-camera devices

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

Samsung has been on a roll. This year alone, the conglomerate has announced five versions of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone including the 16MP Galaxy S4 Zoom, dozens of other devices and a new professional class camera, the Galaxy NX.

Soon, Nokia will to lift the sheets off the successor to the standard bearing 808 PureView in what many are expecting to be called the Nokia EOS (AT&T codename “Elvis”), with a 41MP sensor that is sure to delight the aficionados.

It is a competition that seems kind of awkward, Samsung versus Nokia. The form factors of the devices could not be more different. From the Galaxy Camera, to the Galaxy S4 Zoom to the Galaxy NX throwing down against the 808 PureView and forthcoming Nokia EOS. All are sure to be extremely competent cameras in their own right and each have an appeal to a certain demographic.

Of course, none of the Galaxy devices will easily fit in your pocket or on your hip, plus the PureView 808 has a cult following (with new and used devices still commanding several hundred dollars on eBay). Fan-boys from their respective brand benches each have a lot to strut about, but even then there just seems to be something lacking.

What could possibly be missing from this nicely rounded picture of high-end camera-smartphones, smartphone-cameras, and Android-cameras? Some of you might be thinking right about now, “please don’t say, or write it…please,” but I’m going to: Where is the iOS powered camera?

First of all, I am not some fan pining for an iOS anything, but it seems awfully weird that this area appears to be conspicuously overlooked by the gang in Cupertino. After all, Apple and Samsung have been trading blows at just about every level, in the market and in the courts, for years. Moreover, the camera on the iPhone certainly holds its own amongst the other flagship devices on the market.

When you consider the applications that are already available in the Apple space for connecting DSLRs and image processing, it is not like Apple is not playing a role in how we handle pictures. There are also a number of hardware accessories and apps which enhance or work off the iPhone’s camera too. Given that, it is probably a good thing that Apple is not developing its own camera.

First, Apple’s hardware is expensive. Very expensive. If the company were to develop a device to compete with Samsung or Nokia in this manner, you could expect a notable mark-up in how much the gear costs. Yes, a new Samsung Galaxy S4 is pricey at full retail, but it does not hold a candle next to the new retail price of a 32GB or 64GB iPhone 5. Even new iPhone 4S devices are still selling in the $400-plus range.

Second, while we do not know how much a Galaxy NX is going to cost, the Galaxy S4 Zoom is available in the UK on pre-order for a whopping £468 ($733). Seriously, you could spend less on a dedicated 16MP compact camera and separate smartphone, or less on a Galaxy S4 with arguably better hardware (aside from the camera). You can now find the capable Samsung Galaxy Camera new for $400 or less now if you look carefully enough.

Third, when the Nokia EOS is unveiled next month, it is expected to be an AT&T exclusive in the United States, and the value proposition of a subsidized device is going to make the EOS quite the compelling buy. Of course, for those that just “have to have it,” they will pay any price and we expect to see online-auctions reflecting that economic reality. Apple products can command a premium price as well, but I can’t help but think a camera would be a step beyond that line.

Granted, Nokia is in a position where it needs to simply get its product in as many hands as possible, and the Lumia smartphones have been priced to sell. When you consider the development and hardware that has been invested in by Nokia and Samsung, the costs involved must be staggering. Samsung is in a position where it can build as many things as it wants and spread them across the market. Case-in-point, Samsung has announced over 30 devices so far in 2013.

So, in reflecting about this niche of super-camera devices (whether they make phone calls or not), it is just interesting to see an area where Apple does not seem to be stepping in. With the products on the market so far, that is probably a good thing, but it is kind of weird that there does not appear to be an i-camera or something in the mix.

If the Galaxy S4 Zoom, Galaxy NX and Nokia EOS have captured your interest, would a similar product from Apple do the same?



1. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Apple can keep focusing on their iPhones, iPads, MacBooks. No iCamera please! Just leave it to the big bros like Nokia and Samsung, and Sony too.

2. phil2n

Posts: 519; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

If apple will revamped iphone to be a camera phone then their hardware must be came from sony or sammy, after all it will be the same thing and sounds annoying to me.

3. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Exactly! Apple don't make their own hardware, they just source it from elsewhere, how can they make a camera?

4. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Apple can design a camera and just have another company make it. They designed their A6 and A6X processors, but Samsung made it. It's still Apple technology, just manufactured by another company.

8. Potato.

Posts: 607; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

They source it from Sony but they optimize it much better than others. iPhone 5 has an impressive camera. Their cameras are on-par with Lumia's.

12. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

BTW the iCamera is looking good but it'll cost more than $1000. Nokia's PV will be li'l bit handy, capture great pics and can fit easily into pocket than S4 Zoom.

13. TechBizJP08

Posts: 495; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

Yup, Maxwell R. you forgot to mention Sony. :-) No need for iCamera. Phones and Tablets will do. And besides, it would hell be so much expensive than a Mid Range DSLR on the market. Might as well focus on th Phone hardware.. cheers!!

15. Maxwell.R

Posts: 218; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

I intentionally left the Honami out because all we have is one good rendering, and not much else. The Samsung gear is out and the Nokia deal is only two weeks away. That said, I think Samsung will be the contender in all of this due to the company's size. Other than that, I think you're right, an iCamera would be mucho-$$$...

20. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Not only that... Apple have been avoinding the explotation of niche products ever since the iPhone.... (yes, they basically created the tablet market but)... They have missed the opportunity for making variants with specific features such as the increasingly popular Water Proofing..., Phablet..., Camera... Maybe this year we get to see the "cheap" variant... but they move slow for those type of hardware changes... They basically leave to third party accesory makers for making... Lenses, WaterProof Cases...

5. T-rex unregistered

yes you ARE an iOS fanboy

7. Potato.

Posts: 607; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Can you explain me, how? There was nothing biased in the article. Its just his (Maxwell) own thinking and more like a question to "Apple" that why don't they release their cameras?

21. jdoee100

Posts: 334; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

i think the whole article is mumbo-jumbo.

6. Potato.

Posts: 607; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

iPhone has one of the best camera IMO. If they will release their camera they would have to introduce micro-SD card and mass storage option which is almost impossible for Apple. iTunes is easy, I know but Mass storage is more simple.

9. Potato.

Posts: 607; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

iCamera vs Galaxy Zoom vs EOS vs Honami !! May be we will see HTC in this war too

14. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

If HTC can get their ultrapixel to a higher resolution, they will definitely be a competitor. HTC made a 4 MP camera stand up against 8 and 13 MP cameras, the only problem was that when cropping detail is pretty bad, but low light shots were amazing.

16. Potato.

Posts: 607; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

How about a 13mp Ultrapixels? :D

17. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

That would be glorious if they got the software right.

18. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

not entirely. Just zoom the picture and see it for yourself how it lacks details provided by the competition. Nevertheless, it's an interesting technology.

22. jdoee100

Posts: 334; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

I wonder, when you(Berzerk000) say the low shots are amazing, is it really amazing? What I mean is, does it really take excellent night pictures, or is it excellent compared to other phones' night pictures? (fyi..I haven't seen any htc night pictures, so i don't know what they look like). Because, if it's only excellent compared to other phones' pictures, it probably takes marginal night shots at best.

23. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011 Here it is compared to the Lumia 920, the other industry leading camera in low light performance. Just scroll down a little to where it compares shots of an underground subway tunnel, and throws in the Droid DNA for a comparison. The One really does do an amazing job, very comparable to the Lumia 920 in some cases.

10. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

they all lack something what Nokia has. Experience. Even sony has been lost since they dropped cybershot line.

11. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Most of those who buy apple products just use it as a status symbol or something. If there really is a camera-centric phone from apple,, samsung or even nokia will be at trouble. Apple fans are that loyal to what apple produces. BUt if I was ask if I want one, of course. I would love to try it. Apple without a doubt has skills in designing camera phones. I'm not a fan but iphone 5's photos are way better than my note 2's. But if compared to nokia's? Still, hands down to nokia. N8 ftw.

19. MachidoDen

Posts: 202; Member since: May 30, 2013

why ?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.