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Next-gen iPhone to include LED flash?

updated 03:45 pm EST, Fri January 8, 2010

Apple said to be shopping for bulk orders

The next-generation iPhone -- expected to launch this summer -- could have LED flash built in, a report suggests. People described as "familiar with Apple's initiative" claim that the company is actively hunting for tens of millions of LED flash components, which would be delivered sometime this year. Philips' Lumileds division is said to be the main contender as a partner, and may already have a contract.

Adding flash to the iPhone's camera would address one of its long-standing weaknesses, low-light photography. Like most cameras the iPhone is incapable of producing sharp images without flash, or else a very strong ambient light source. Other smartphones, such as the Pre and the Droid, already have built-in flashes.

LED is said to offer the advantage of size, low power consumption and little interference. The technology could be paired with a five-megapixel sensor, an upgrade from the 3.2-megapixel sensor used in the iPhone 3GS. Apple is believed to be contemplating an order of 40 to 45 million sensors, which could mean a similar number of iPhones will be produced. Only 20 to 21 million are thought to have been shipped during 2009.

Rumors persist however that Apple would like to add a camera to the iPod touch. The third-generation Touch was in fact widely expected to have one by analysts and the media, but may have had to forego it due to manufacturing problems. Aside from the iPhone, the only Apple handheld with a camera is the iPod nano.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jumbojet

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What an innovation!

    Now the iPhone will have (almost) all the camera capability of a smart phone from 3 years ago.

  1. FastAMX79

    Joined: Dec 1969



    .. why your comment is getting 'buried'?? ita is true. My v950 is over a year old and uses 4 leds for the flash, and my Pre (who everyone here makes fun of) has an led flash.

    I've been a long time Apple user (since the //e and //gs days) and I love the computers/OS they make, but you can't be blind to the things that 'should' have been there. It seems that the smugness I read about/experience for being an Apple user is nothing but reinforced at this site.

    How long was it to get MMS? (blame ATT all you want, but you chose to pay the most to use a cell phone)

    How long was it before copy/paste came into play? Again, Apple said before it was not worth it even though we were ALL complaining...

    How is that teathering coming along? Oh, that's right, it's ok because it's iPhone, and we will bend over for ATT even though they have been proved time and time again that they suck, regardless of providing GSM that, i'm willing to be, over 50% of iphone users will NEVER travel outside the USA

    Or how Apple loves the 'homebrew' community? Oh yeah, they lock them out.

    And then we all wonder why we get called 'smug'.

    What a shame Apple's name has gotten tarnished from us (well not me) for acting the why you do.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Vinyl, anyone?

    My 32-year-old receiver/amplifier has a built-in vinyl record player. My new Onkyo 7.1 DTS surround-sound 1200W receiver/amplifier lacks one...

    Hey, Onkyo, howabout bringing your receivers into the 21st century and including a vinyl record player? Receivers have had them on there forever, so that must mean that because you lack that feature, your products suck a**!

    HOW long was it before anyone but Apple implemented multi-touch?

    HOW long was it before PCs finally ditched legacy ports for USB, all in the name of "iMac?"

    HOW long was it before Windows had native PostScript support?

    Really, you guys? The lack of an LED flash on the iPhone sends you into a rant about how Apple and AT&T can't get anything together, and all is "FAIL" and we're all sheeples that bow down to the mighty God that is AT&T?

    Really? No, I'm serious... really? That's what you got out of the article?

    Holy c***, this world is fsck'ed.

  1. makemineamac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    DiabloConQueso you are correct....

    In addition to what you have added, the 'presence' of led flashes on phones previous to this years models, lacked enough oomph to light anything anyway.They were ok in close situations, but not to illuminate to any sort of degree.

    If they go with a high output led, that still consumes next to no power, it will likely make the led flash effective, and less of a hood ornament, which is what it has been on many phones in the past. I have yet to see how the Pre flash is, I'm sure it's better than anything else out there, or I would hope so...

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Folks need to remember that due to the iPhone's case design, any modifications require retooling and extra parts, which apple is keen to avoid.

    - A

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