updated 11:55 am EDT, Fri October 29, 2010
Report argues for front- and rear-facing cameras
OmniVision has been picked to supply CMOS image sensors for the next-generation iPad, expected to launch in the first quarter of next year, claims research firm Detweiler Fenton. OmniVision specializes in CMOS technology, and has supplied equipment for Apple in the past, including the sensors in iPhones like the iPhone 4. Recent rumors hinted that some of the company's Apple business might be going to Sony instead.
Detweiler argues that the next iPad will have not one but two cameras: one with a 5 megapixel sensor, and another limited to VGA resolution, likely meant for FaceTime video calling. FaceTime was introduced with the iPhone 4, but is already on the Mac and the fourth-generation iPod touch. Space for a forward-facing camera was discovered early into the iPad's life.
A Detweiler memo forecasts that Apple will build 2.5 million iPads in Q1 2011, helping OmniVision out with an incremental 5 million units of demand. Zooming out to OmniVision's business as a whole, it's thought that if 23 million iPhones are built in Q1, Apple could represent almost a third of OmniVision's chip business, and most of the latter's shipments of 5 megapixel sensors. The iPhone figure assumes 6 million Verizon iPhones.