Visitors try out the Honor 7 smartphone at the Huawei stand at the 2015 IFA consumer electronics and appliances trade fair on September 4, 2015 in Berlin, Germany
Visitors try out the Honor 7 smartphone at the Huawei stand at the 2015 IFA consumer electronics and appliances trade fair on September 4, 2015 in Berlin, Germany

iPhone 7: Huawei may have beaten Apple’s new handset to its biggest new feature, again

The P9's dual-camera technology, which is part of a collaboration with Leica, allows the phone to re-focus pictures after they’ve been taken

Andrew Griffin@_andrew_griffin
Wednesday 06 April 2016 15:36
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Huawei, the Chinese phone company, has apparently beaten Apple to its next phone’s flagship feature for the second year running.

The company has unveiled its new P9, a new phone that features dual-camera technology. By using two Leica lenses built into the back of the phone, the handset can refocus pictures even after they are taken and can get the kind of shallow depth-of-field that is associated with SLR cameras.

That same feature has been widely rumoured to be one of the biggest innovations coming to the iPhone 7, due for release later this year. It still isn’t clear that Apple will definitely launch a phone with the feature, or what it will do with it, but the technology has been repeatedly rumoured to be scheduled for release with the new phone in September.

It is the second time in a year that Huawei apparently beat Apple to a widely-expected feature. In September, the Chinese company launched a new phone with a pressure-sensitive display — the feature was strongly-rumoured to be coming to the iPhone 6s when Huawei’s phone was launched, and was indeed in that phone when it came out just a couple of weeks later.

Last year’s phone, the Huawei Mate S, also looked remarkably like the iPhone 6.

What is Apple's strategy?

The new phone wasn’t actually released until after iPhone 6s came out, and Apple’s feature had already been integrated into other products like the Apple Watch. It was also integrated much less closely with the operating system, since developers have to work much harder to integrate hardware features within Android rather than on iOS.

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