updated 11:23 am EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Camera may offer other improvements like optical image stabilization
Shares for iPhone camera module supplier Largan Precision took a major hit yesterday, following rumors Apple won't be changing the resolution of the iPhone 6 camera, according to the China Post. Nomura Securities analysts brought the rumors to the fore, which suggest that Apple will keep resolution at 8 megapixels instead of bumping up to 16 megapixels, as anticipated by some others. A few rival phones -- like the Sony Xperia Z1 -- are already above that figure, and Nokia's Lumia 1020 has a colossal 41-megapixel sensor.
The rumors claim that Apple will add optical image stabilization instead. That technology is already present on phones like the Lumia 1020 and the Nexus 5, and is useful for reducing blur in action shots or low lighting. Going that direction would be in keeping with Apple's approach to the iPhone 5s; instead of increasing resolution it improved light sensitivity, and added a secondary flash, meant to warm up skin tones in night/indoor photography.
The iPhone 6 hasn't been announced and generally isn't predicted to arrive until September or October. The primary upgrade is expected to be a much larger screen size, possibly up to 6 inches. That would put it in competition with phablets like the Galaxy Note. Apple may choose to go smaller, though, since it has touted one-handed use as an advantage of the iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c. Most Android and Windows Phone devices now use screens measuring at least 4.3 inches, often closer to 5.