Sony is positioned to dramatically increase its sales of CMOS cameras to Apple for use in an unreleased iPhone, Nikkei Asian Review reports. Sony already supplies most of the rear-facing iSight cameras shipping on iPhones today, and as the report suggests, negotiations between Sony and Apple to double the amount of CMOS sensors supplied points to Sony also providing the sensor for the front-facing iPhone camera…

The latest hardware offered on the iPhone 5s features an 8MP camera for taking still photos on the rear side, while the current front-facing camera captures 1MP. Opting for Sony to supply both sensors could suggest a focus on improving the quality of the FaceTime camera on future devices.

The report backs up its claim with information that says Sony has ramped up its infrastructure to support the increase in sensor production:

    A request from Apple was the reason for its January decision to purchase a plant from Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics, according to a source involved in the negotiations. Sony plans to invest 35 billion yen in the facility to boost its monthly production capacity by 25%.


The report also notes Sony has provided batteries for Apple’s iPad Air marking an increase in components Sony provides for Apple’s hardware.

Previous reports have suggested Apple’s next-generation iPhone will retain the same 8MP rear-facing camera, instead focusing on further improving the optics at the current megapixel resolution.

Improving the front-facing sensor rating could help market the camera system if the next iPhone retains a similar rear-facing camera. What do you expect from Apple’s next iPhone camera system? Read our thoughts in the Community and let us know in the comments.

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One Response to “Sony expands camera operations to likely supply Apple with front-facing iPhone cameras”

  1. This would fall inline with the reports a while back that Apple has explored the use of iris scanning as an additional security feature. A much higher resolution front-facing camera, hopefully coupled with an IR LED light source and no IR filter, would be required for this sort of biometric scanning.