Sony 8mp image sensors for iPhone 5 delayed?

9to5Mac's Seth Weintraub was watching the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg interview Sony CEO, Sir Howard Stringer, when stringer let slip that cameras meant for Apple iPhone and iPad would be delayed to due the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Paraphrased: “Our best senor technology is built in one of the (tsunami) affected factories.  Those go to Apple for their iPhones…or iPads.  Isn’t that something?  They buy our best sensors from us?”

Sony doesn't currently supply iPhone or iPad optics but had been rumored to be supplying iPhone 5 with 8 megapixel sensors. Rumors spread last week of a possible "delay" in iPhone 5 release from the usual summer schedule to a Fall, or possibly later date. If the "delay" (unannounced products can't be delayed, but internal schedules can be pushed out and historic cycles can be broken) is real, and the Sony image sensor is accurate, could this and potentially other component related problems be part of the reason?


Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • i hope this is all just a lot of hot air. my yearly iphone ritual seems to b in jeapordy
  • Is it just me, or are the number of MP on some of these tiny cameras becoming just spec fluff? It would seem like after 4-5MP, you're just adding to storage needs. But, yea, I don't doubt that some products are going to be delayed and designs change or parts be respec'd, etc.
  • In fact, in point-and-shoots going past 7 or 8 megapixels actually reduces quality, because with all those sensors packed together in such a small CCD you get more noise. With smartphone cameras the point where higher megapixel counts reduce quality is probably even lower. Apple should focus on better lenses and a better flash, and if possible increasing the CCD size; as it is 5 megapixels is more than enough for a smartphone.
  • I'm perfectly OK with the iPhone's 5 megapixel hardware....I just WISH that same hardware had made the leap to the iPad and iPod Touch.
    My old 4 megapixel Canon took much better pictures than my newer 10 megapixel camera. Had a better lens and bigger sensor. It's the whole combo that produces nicer, clearer shots.
  • If this story is true, it wouldn't bother me to wait another year or two for a new phone. The Japanese people have enough to worry about as it is. They don't even have clean drinking water. Ummm yeah, I think I can wait.
  • Now see that is reason for a delay not some crap about LTE .
  • All the pixel packing is getting annoying. More MP in an already small sensor doesn't make for better images >_<
  • That's very true. It takes a lot more than just MP to produce a good camera.
    The iPhone camera is 5-megapixels, but Steve Jobs himself pointed out in his WWDC keynote, megapixel count alone doesn’t equal good images. As such even current smartphones with higher megapixel counts than the iPhone produce lower quality photos.
    The reason for the discrepancy as explained by Macworld is that the iPhone 4 packs its 5 million pixels onto a 1/3.2-inch backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. Sensors with backside llumination technology move the wiring from the front side of the sensor to the back, so that it’s behind the light sensors. This allows more light to reach the sensors without being diffused by the circuitry, which means the camera can capture better low-light images.
    Another factor contributing to the camera’s good low-light performance is the size of its pixels. Bigger pixels capture more light, which makes for better images. Apple retained the same pixel size that it had on previous Phones instead of shrinking them down to fit more megapixels into a smaller area, which is something many cameras do to inflate their megapixel count.
    Yeah, megapixel count isn’t the most imporant factor when it comes to quality, but maybe Apple has done all it can do optimize a 5MP camera on a cellphone. The next step would then be to increase the MP count.
  • nice website , its really impressive.
    Red kitchenaid professional
  • Yes, Connor. It's certainly a lot nicer than your ugly website.
    Can someone please ban this guy for spam and delete his post? Thanks.
  • I'm just praying for the families and for everybody displaced. I'm will survive if the iPhone 5 doesn't ship
  • That's great! #priorities
  • Sony shipping camera sensors is not going to happen at the expense of the Japanese population. In fact, it would be better for their economy if they can get up and going sooner rather than later. So I'm not sure where the "let's just forget about doing business" sentiment is coming from.
    In any case, I'm ready for iPhone 5 with that sweet A5 processor.
  • Save yourself some keystrokes and drop the hair-thin distinctions of what counts as a delay and what doesn't.
    If it comes out later than planned, then it's been delayed - whether we knew the plan or not.
  • Either way iPhone 5 has not been announced so nothing has been delayed.
  • When there are workers that know they are going to die by continuing to work at the power plants to try, and stop a horrible situation, delays of products do not seem to matter any more.
  • okay, you guys have beaten me to a pulp with these rumors, I'm ceding to the fact that I have to wait until the fall to get a new iPhone =/
    We can't blame the tsunami for anything either because these rumors have been around before that event.