Apple’s and Samsung’s Changing Smartphone Recipes

Teardowns reveal smartphone makers’ priorities

1 min read
Apple’s and Samsung’s Changing Smartphone Recipes

Smartphones are complex devices. Their flexibility means that for every generation, manufacturers must make trade-offs that represent how they think they can best meet users’ changing priorities at the lowest production cost. The charts below provide a breakdown of the portions of the total cost due to different components for Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy series of phones, provided by analysis company Teardown.com. These reveal both changes in the costs of underlying technologies and where manufacturers are investing in boosting the capabilities of their phones. For more details, including absolute costs, visit the interactive version of this article online.

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
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Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford
Blue

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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