updated 09:20 am EDT, Tue June 7, 2011
OmniVision still mostly in charge for iPhone 5 cam
Talk of Sony pitching in to make eight-megapixel cameras for the iPhone 5 was at once validated and upturned by purported details from the supply chain. OmniVision would still make the CMOS-based sensor and would be responsible for 90 percent of production, but 10 percent would come from Sony. The orders Digitimes was told about would be large enough that OmniVision's contract chip manufacturer, the already large TSMC, would be boosting its wafer production by 40 percent between spring and summer.
The claim isn't confirmed but would help corroborate Sir Howard Stringer's statements from April, when he said Sony was supplying Apple with its better cameras. Both OmniVision and Sony have eight-megapixel, backside-illuminated cameras that are adept at low light and could likely be interchangeable from Apple's perspective.
A summer production ramp for the camera side would support rumors of a September launch period that would require manufacturing starting in July.
A part switch is also supposedly underway for power management. Avago has supposedly replaced TriQuint for three out of the five power amplifiers Apple uses in the GSM (WCDMA 3G) version of the iPhone 5. It was previously the supplier for the CDMA iPhone 4, so it's unclear whether this signals that there will still be a bifurcation between models or if it's an allusion to keeping Avago onboard for a dual-mode iPhone that would fulfill demand for both CDMA and GSM.