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Vivo Launches Phone With Own Imaging Chip Days Ahead of iPhone

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(Bloomberg) -- Android-phone maker Vivo announced its new X70 smartphone series on Friday, the first to include its self-designed V1 photo and video chip that marks another step in device manufacturers moving to custom silicon.

The new trio of devices comes days ahead of Apple Inc.’s anticipated Sept. 14 iPhone launch event, with the top-tier X70 Pro+ built around the custom chip and a Qualcomm Inc. Snapdragon 888 processor with integrated 5G. The previous X60 series was introduced just six months ago -- like fellow Chinese brands Xiaomi Corp. and Oppo, Vivo has switched to an accelerated launch cadence, investing heavily in camera hardware and pushing to fill the void in the market left by Huawei Technologies Co.

Apple has successfully differentiated its iPhones with its in-house A-series processors, tailored to work optimally with the company’s iOS software. Huawei had done similarly with its HiSilicon designs and Alphabet Inc.’s Google is seeking to match that approach with its Tensor processor set to launch with the next Pixel smartphone later in the year.

Read more: What Google’s New Chip Means for Its Phones

Android makers are trying to challenge Apple on hardware and the current push to customize the inner workings of devices reflects years of development behind the scenes. Vivo took two years to design its V1 chip while Google’s Tensor is the product of four years of R&D.

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