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Samsung reportedly acquires Corephotonics, maker of 10x zoom phone camera

By Jules Wang January 28, 2019, 1:30 pm

You may have seen a few headlines recently about smartphone cameras with up to 10x optical zoom capability. Depending on what you call “zoom,” you might be quite impressed that OPPO is about to debut a phone with those specs. But the company that OPPO is getting this technology from may be set for bigger things this year.

According to sources of business daily Globes, Samsung is buying Israeli imaging firm Corephotonics for $155 million. The deal has not been confirmed by either party.

Samsung Ventures, the chaebol’s Israeli investment arm, is currently a primary investor in Corephotonics. Foxconn, MediaTek, SanDisk, CK Telecom (owner of the Three network) and a couple of large venture funds also have stakes.

Corephotonics licenses out its camera designs to manufacturers like Apple. The company actually sued the iPhone maker in 2017, alleging that it had infringed on a patent with its iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus — both devices utilize dual-camera components. In February last year, key Apple supplier Sunny Optics signed a license agreement with Corephotonics, though the suit remains active.

A top Samsung executive has reportedly been pushing the Galaxy S10 series of phones to feature top-shelf camera capabilities, so we wouldn’t be surprised if this buyout lined up with the company’s priorities. Who knows what we could see down the line, perhaps even as early as the Galaxy Note 10.

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