A post on Weibo from a Chinese analyst (via GforGames) suggests that the new iPhone design will not feature a protruding camera, which would have seemingly enabled optical image stablization, as Apple has instead opted to focus on a super-thin profile for the new device.
Apple’s current line of iPhones take advantage of the embedded SoC’s processing power to enable software-based image stabilization. Whilst optical image stabilization is generally considered to be superior, it also requires the camera components to be physically much larger. According to this report, Apple does not seem to have wanted to make this tradeoff.
The report also claims the new iPhone camera will have a substantially larger pixel size, claiming 1.75 micrometers compared with 1.5 micrometers pixel size of the iPhone 5s’s camera. As Harshil Shah points out, the iPhone 4 also used a sensor with 1.75 micrometer pixels.
The track record of ESM-China with regard to Apple is unclear, but the line of argument is not completely ridiculous. Apple has apparently been demanding extraordinarily thinner battery components in its quest for device thinness. Most recently, renders pointed towards a chassis thickness of about 6mm. A case video from yesterday, coupled with slimline volume buttons, showed close similarities to the current-generation iPod touch which is 6.1mm.
On the other hand, the current iPod touch’s camera does protrude. This suggests that Apple is not opposed to exposed camera designs. Another question in regard to the iPhone 6’s camera is the flash. To date, all leaks have shown a traditional circular flash hole, which is hard to reconcile with the dual-LED design present in the current iPhone 5s.
Apple is expected to announce its new range of iPhones in the fall.