smartphone enabled sensors to get so cheap


Senior Member
Hello everyone,

From the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

This new industrial nervous system, argued Ruh, was originally accelerated by advances in the consumer space—such as camera-enabled smartphones with GPS. They are to the industrial Internet in the twenty-first century, said Ruh, what the moonshot was to industrial progress in the twentieth century—they drove a great leap forward in an array of interlinked technologies and materials, making all of them smaller, smarter, cheaper, and faster. “The smartphone enabled sensors to get so cheap that they could scale, and we could put them everywhere,” said Ruh.

The phrase "The smartphone enabled sensors to get so cheap" sounds odd to me - does it really mean that sensors got so cheap thanks to smartphone?
I know that modern smarthones have many in-built sensors, but why did they become cheaper thanks to smartphone?

Thank you.
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Becasue so many smartphones were sold - it's the economy of scale/market size: the more you make the cheaper each unit is to make. Also, the more you sell, the more units you can spread out the upfront R&D costs over.
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