Is the iPhone camera in danger of becoming outdated? According to the latest supply chain rumors from Asia, the next iteration of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) flagship smartphone will retain the 8-megapixel rear camera sensor that is currently used for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. The unconfirmed report comes from Taiwan’s China Post via MacRumors.
According to unnamed Nomura Securities analysts cited by the China Post, Apple will not be upgrading the iPhone 6 with a 16-megapixel camera as was expected by some industry watchers. The news caused Apple camera module supplier Largan Precision’s shares to plummet almost 7 percent before closing the trading day down 3.81 percent.
Rather than boosting the pixel count of the iPhone 6 camera, Apple will instead concentrate on “improved optical image stabilization” technology for its next smartphone. According to Nomura Securities analysts via the China Post, Apple decided against the megapixel upgrade in order to retain the iPhone’s compact design.
Apple took a similar approach when it upgraded the camera for the iPhone 5S. The California-based company kept the same 8-megapixel resolution that was used in the previous generation of iPhone, while boosting the camera’s sensor size by 15 percent and increasing the aperture size to f/2.2. Apple also added a continuous burst mode that allows users to take up to 10 photos per second, as well as a new True Tone dual LED flash that automatically adjusts the flash intensity and color temperature based on the lighting environment.
Apple has used an 8-megapixel rear camera sensor since it was introduced for the iPhone 4S in 2011. Meanwhile, Apple’s smartphone competitors have been steadily boosting the pixel count of their devices. For example, Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) Galaxy S4 features a 13-megapixel camera.
However, Apple has filed numerous patents that outline various other methods for improving image quality beyond increasing pixel count. The iPhone maker also recently acquired SnappyLabs, the company behind the popular SnappyCam app. SnappyLabs’ technology enables the iPhone camera to take 20 to 30 high-resolution photos per second, even more than what Apple was able to derive from its native burst photography mode.
Here’s how Apple has traded over the past five sessions.
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