Taiwanese tech news site DigiTimes is reporting today that sources have informed them that California-based company OmniVision has won the contract to produce 3.2 megapixel sensors for use in Apple’s upcoming iPhone hardware refresh, expected this June. DigiTimes has been correct in the past, though they don’t shed any light on the nature of their source. In this case, however, what they’re reporting isn’t exactly beyond the realm of possibility, since it looks fairly certain Apple will be introducing a new iPhone come June, and it makes sense to improve the camera, a source of complaint from many users.
Also not very surprising is the news that the iPhone will support video recording without the need to jailbreak the phone. It makes sense for Apple to include as many upgrade incentives as they can, and a better camera with video capability is a nice, tangible upgrade to entice customers who wouldn’t notice or take advantage of less obvious improvements under the hood.
An additional claim in the report, which might be taken with a little more skepticism, says that OmniVision has also been tapped by Apple to provide 5-megapixel sensors for another upcoming device, the details of which are not revealed. While some might be hoping that this is some kind of Apple netbook or tablet device, I think it’s far more likely that if true, this would actually be an extended contract to provide sensors for the iPhone to follow the update we’ll see in June.
Which makes me angry. Yes, it’s a good thing that Apple’s finally getting around to upgrading the iPhone’s camera, but there was nothing really barring them from doing so last time. And they’re still lagging with a 3.2-megapixel model this time around, instead of leapfrogging ahead and staying on the cusp with a 5-megapixel model. They’re holding back to hedge their bets for future upgrades, regardless of what they may claim about keeping costs down. I might start skipping models if they continue the trend of being so needlessly withholding.