updated 10:15 am EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
Cost, supply issues may hurt 4.7-inch model
It's likely that only the 5.5-inch iPhone will get optical image stabilization for its camera, several analysts are predicting. The most substantial claim comes from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. "Differing from market consensus, we don't expect the main camera of the 4.7" iPhone 6 to use OIS VCM due to production capacity restraint at iPhone 6 VCM suppliers Mitsumi (JP) and Alps (JP)," he writes. "Rather, we predict it will use a middle-mount type of open-loop VCM updated from the one used in the existing iPhone 5S. The 5.5" iPhone 6 is more likely to be equipped with OIS VCM due to lower estimated shipments and the need for more product features to differentiate itself from the 4.7" iPhone 6." It is however expected that the 4.7-inch iPhone will still get faster focusing and better power efficiency than camera in the iPhone 5s.
Pacific Crest Securities analysts John Vinh and Kevin Chen note that picking a camera module with OIS currently adds $4 to $5 to the cost of a phone. As such, they say Apple will reserve it for the more expensive 5.5-inch product.
OIS has been available in full-scale cameras and lenses for many years, but is a relatively recent arrival to smartphones. So far, only a handful of phones use the technology, such as the Google Nexus 5 and the Nokia Lumia 1520. The main obstacle apart from cost has been size, since it's difficult to miniaturize the servos needed for OIS without adding a large bulge to the back of a device.