OmniVision having difficulties manufacturing iPhone 5 camera, Sony to pick up the slack?

Apple is due to announce a new iPhone this year, to state the bleeding obvious, and depending on which websites you read you know it’s either going to be called the iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S. Several of the standout features of this next generation iPhone are (again, this is all rumors) an improved 8 megapixel camera, thinner body, larger edge to edge screen, Qualcomm cellular radio that does both CDMA and GSM, and the dualcore A5 processor that’s currently found in the iPad 2. Now about that camera, last month we reported that OmniVision and Sony were selected to supply Apple with the components they require, with the former filling 90% of Cupertino’s orders and the latter supplying 10%. That’s due to change according to a research note published by FBR Capital analyst Craig Berger. He says:

“OmniVision may be having technical difficulties with its new CMOS sensor, possibly risking its iPhone socket supplier status. Omnivision’s BSI-2 technology is the world’s first 1.1-micron pixel architecture allowing for low-light sensitivity and accurate color reproduction for better overall image quality. Manufactured through Taiwan Semiconductor, it is built using a 300 mm copper process at the 65 nm node. However, we understand that yield rates at TSM have thus far been unacceptably low for commercial viability, and that the deadline for inclusion into the next iPhone has passed. Therefore, Sony could become Apple’s primary supplier of 8 mega-pixel CMOS image sensors for the next iPhone, with OmniVision possibly being a backup supplier. Many believed that Omivision would capture as much as 90% share of iPhone production, which may turn out to not be the case.”

No use in crying over spilled milk, but we do wonder just what sort of differences Sony’s camera sensors have compared to the units supplied by OmniVision. They’re probably high fiving each other in Japan right now anyway over this news, more money for them.

  • Gordo

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