Report: Next-gen iPhone to include 5 megapixel camera

Wed, Dec 23, 2009

News, Rumors

The next-gen iPhone will reportedly include a 5-megapixel camera, according to a recent report in DigiTimes. Citing industry sources, the report notes that OmniVision has already secured orders to supply Apple with the image sensors for what’s estimated to be 40-45 million units sold in 2010.

Interestingly, Omnivision last June announced a 5 megapixel OV5650 Image Sensor for mobile phones that’s capable of capturing HD video in 1080p quality at 30 frames per second.  At 720p, still HD mind you, the sensor can capture video at 60 frames per second. There’s no word on whether or not Apple will choose the OV5650 sensor, but if so, it will certainly be a solid and intriguing upgrade for the iPhone. Still, we wouldn’t expect 1080p quality to make an appearance anytime soon given how Apple chose to handle video on the iPhone 3GS.

As it stands now, the current iPhone 3GS sports a 3.2 megapixel camera capable of recording video in VGA quality at 30 fps, though a subsequent examination of the phone’s processor revealed that it was in fact capable of capturing video in 720p.  Apple presumably didn’t enable 720p because doing so would put the processor through the ringer and obliterate battery life in the process. Also, HD video isn’t too storage friendly, and with the maximum capacity iPhone coming in at 32GB, concerns about the practicality of 720p were probably taken into consideration as well. Apple may very well be working hard to improve battery life, and though a 64GB iPhone will help make storage less of an issue, 1080p may still be a ways off.

With so much attention focused on Apple’s rumored and upcoming tablet, reports on the next-gen iPhone have been pretty scarce, but with an expected launch date in June 2010, we can expect news of its feature set to begin trickling in with greater frequency.

And as a final point of interest, OmniVision noted in a presentation given this past Summer that while the current trend in mobile phones is 2 megapixel sensors, 5 megapixel sensors will begin to emerge as a “volume leader in 2011″


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