updated 04:55 pm EDT, Mon April 4, 2011
OmniVision seen as likely to maintain grip
OmniVision will get a lock on supplying cameras for the iPhone 5, not Sony, two analysts claim. Needham's Rajvindra Gill insists that people have "grossly misinterpreted" comments by Sony head Howard Stringer, who let slip that shipments of camera sensors to Apple would be delayed. Apple currently relies on OmniVision for iPhone camera sensors.
Gill argues that OmniVision is capable of as many as 72,000 wafers per month when cooperating with Taiwan Semi, while Sony may not reach 50,000 wafers per month until March 2012. OmniVision is also said to have technological superiority in the form of the BSI-2 sensor, and other advantages like cheaper parts, proximity to iPhone assembly and not being an Apple competitor. The iPhone 5 is rumored to be getting an 8 megapixel sensor.
Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner completely dismisses the notion of Apple using Sony cameras. "A closer look at the article that sparked the conjecture suggests Stringer implied just the opposite -- i.e. that the notion of such a hook-up was rather silly," Reiner remarks. "Based on our independent field work, we continue to strongly believe that OmniVision has won the image sensor slots on the next iPhone."