The smartphone race is almost run, but Apple’s not sweating

Ideas

The smartphone race is almost run, but Apple’s not sweating

The tech giant used to be the coolest kid on the block, but is now reduced to playing catch-up to savvier rivals

Harry de Quetteville

Tuesday was the most important day in Apple’s year. A day so important it has traditionally been shrouded in secrecy; so vital it framed the 2015 Steve Jobs biopic; so resonant that even non-tech geeks once rubbed their hands, because they knew whatever was unveiled would be a) super cool and b) shape the consumer market.

But not any more. If you wanted to get a sneak preview of Tuesday’s iPhone launch, then you didn’t have to wait, agog, for CEO Tim Cook’s big reveal. You could wander to your local store and pick up a Huawei P30 Pro which has four different camera lenses – four! – on the back alone, including telephoto and ultra-wide. Apple, so long the market leader, is playing catch-up on cameras. The new lenses on the “Pro” iPhones it launched on Tuesday will break no ground, except by bumping up the retail price.

And even though Apple will boast about built-in ways of ensuring you always take the best snap, they are hardly alone there either. Huawei’s clever software allows it to pull in more light, and so capture fantastic images even in dark conditions...

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