updated 03:45 pm EDT, Tue May 3, 2011
Lazard says OmniVision still iPhone camera maker
Lazard Capital Markets analyst Daniel Amir on Tuesday told investors that he didn't expect Apple to turn to Sony for iPhone cameras. He still believed OmniVision, the long-time camera sensor maker for Apple, had a "significant" opportunity with its Apple deal. The firm was unique in scaling from the very low end to advanced cameras and still had one of the best backside-illuminated camera sensors in its BSI-2-based chips.
The research note didn't attempt to directly reconcile the view with Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer's own remarks. During a conversation discussing the impact of the northern Japanese earthquake, the executive had claimed Sony was giving its best cameras to Apple, even though no iPhone 4 model uses them. Sony's best mobile camera sensor an eight-megapixel unit that currently fits into the Xperia Arc, Xperia Neo, and other Sony Ericsson models.
OmniVision already has eight-megapixel sensors that would fit a future iPhone, but rumors have circulated of supply issues that would have forced Sony to either take up some of the slack or replace it entirely.
Amir was upbeat on OmniVision as a whole, mostly as he expected the CMOS camera sensor market to grow an average of 25 percent per year over the next few years. [via Barron's]