DigiTimes has a little tid-bit of a rumor saying that Apple has ordered 3.2 and 5 megapixel CMOS image sensors from OmniVision. The 3.2MP CMOS image sensors are said to be for the next generation iPhone while the 5MP chips are said to be for “another Apple product expected to be launched later in the year.”
I don’t necessarily believe these rumors, DigiTimes is hit and miss when it comes to their track record. But, let’s just assume for a moment that the rumor is true. This doesn’t mean that the images coming from your iPhone are going to be any better, bad optics are still bad optics, even if you have a bigger chip, it just means you are going to get poor quality images that are high resolution.
Now that that is out of the way let’s focus on those 5MP image sensors. One would assume that these are for a new Apple product (a tablet or dedicated digital camera perhaps), but what is the likelihood that Apple would introduce a brand new product that would have a 5MP camera in it? Not very likely. My suggestion is that they could be for the iPod touch. Giving the iPod touch a camera that is better than the iPhone’s would give people a little more incentive to purchase the iPod touch, and help put it more on par with the iPhone when comparing them based on price.
Let me be clear though, I don’t think this rumor is true. That doesn’t mean I don’t expect 3.2MP cameras in the next iPhone, because Apple may very well introduce that, but, I don’t think DigiTimes has a reliable source with this particular report.
Update 5/15/09: Hardmac adds more validity to my prediction that the iPod touch will be gaining a camera in its next refresh, saying “Apple should refresh models for the iPod nano and touch in september. Both should now include a camera, similarly to the iPhone.”
Update 5/27/09: iLounge has posted an artist rendition of upcoming changes to the iPod nano, which not only includes a camera but also a larger display with a 1.5:1 aspect ratio.
Update 6/2/09: The Green Room has posted a single image with a rundown of every 2009 iPhone rumor. A great reference for what to expect on Monday.
Update 6/10/09: We now know that those 3.2MP CMOS sensors are being used in the iPhone 3GS announced at the WWDC keynote, but we still don’t know about those 5MP sensors.