Sources familiar with the matter have told AppleInsider that Apple will forego a higher megapixel camera in its 2014 iPhone offerings and will instead focus on other ways to improve image quality. This corroborates with what we have heard before and suggests again that megapixels are less important to Apple than overall image quality.
In a research note issued this week, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo detailed how major manufacturers are racing to add 13MP+ CMOS image sensors (CIS) into handsets this year. However, Apple is expected to sit out of the megapixel horserace.
Apple’s main camera supplier, Sony, is expected to be the dominant supplier of 13MP+ sensors, taking a 65.7-percent share of the market. AppleInsider‘s source notes that this is not an indication of where the camera on future iPhones is headed and suggests instead that Apple will focus on other image-enhancing components and technologies.
The current iPhone 5s camera tech is a good example of how Apple is not interested in playing the numbers game when it comes to camera sensor pixel count. Instead of boosting the megapixel count in the iPhone 5s camera, Apple enlarged each pixel’s size to 1.5 microns in diameter, a 0.1-micron increase from the iPhone 5. The larger surface area increased the sensor’s light gathering capabilities by 33% compared to the previous iSight rear facing camera. Further, Apple refined the iPhone’s optics to allow for greater light transmission. The 5s brought a faster f/2.2 lens group into the mix, offering better low-light performance and improved image quality.
It seems that, even if Apple chooses to add a slightly higher megapixel sensor to the iPhone, the company is not interested in “out-megapixeling” its competitors with this year’s iPhone(s).
Do you think the next iPhone needs a higher megapixel camera or do you you care less about the megapixel count and more about the end result? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter: @TodaysiPhone.