SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) — Apple Computer Inc. announced Saturday that the next iteration of their iPhone line of smartphones, known as the iPhone 8, would no longer include its primary camera built into the phone, instead requiring users to purchase a separate camera device.
A spokesperson for the company stated, “Here at Apple we know so much better than the consumers that we’ve decided to go a completely different direction. We’re calling it a “progressive imaging solution” and we’re pleased to announce our upcoming partnership with Kodak to provide the external camera unit.”
This external camera – called “iQuickTake” in a nostalgic reference to an early Apple digital model – is made by Kodak, once the unchallenged king of everything photography before the digital revolution sunk them into bankruptcy in 2012. But in a move that surprised investors, Apple announced that the camera would not be digital – that, instead, it would use photographic film, a technology which, though long thought replaced by digital methods, has made a surprise comeback in recent years.
Kodak – known since emerging from bankruptcy as Kodak Alaris – generated buzz in January when they announced the reintroduction of Ektachrome, a much-beloved color slide film which was discontinued in 2013. But they may not be directly providing film for this new camera – as a Kodak representative stated, “We have been in talks with Lomography to provide the film for this camera, which will be in the cute little 110 format and probably also expired and smeared with random dirt. This is all part of our sustainability initiative.” Kodak also stated that the design of the new camera will be evocative of early 2000’s point-and-shoot digital cameras made for children. “We’re thinking bubbly molded bright yellow plastic with your choice of Disney characters painted on it,” the representative said.
The camera is also expected to have “some kind of proprietary self-developing system, so expect to have to buy chemicals for it. As usual, they will only be available directly from Apple. It will also have a deliciously lo-fi 300 dpi scanner built-in, which will send scans over bluetooth directly to the iPhone,” according to the Apple spokesperson.
A few investors have expressed concern at the change, but the effect on Apple’s stock remains to be seen.
The announcement, however, elicited a negative response from President Donald Trump, who tweeted soon afterward: “Bad move from Apple. Kodak FAILED company. Probably sent jobs to Mexico – BAD! That will change SOON.”