Rumors are rife that Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6, the presumed next-generation version of the company’s flagship smartphone, could feature optical image stabilization, or OIS, as a key improvement to the handset’s camera. However, a set of new reports have suggested that the feature could be included only in the larger 5.5-inch model of the new iPhone.
According to John Vinh and Kevin Chen, analysts at Pacific Crest Securities, the OIS technology is likely to be exclusive to the 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6, allowing Apple to differentiate the bigger iPhone from its 4.7-inch counterpart. The OIS mechanism uses lens with built-in stabilization or a separate sensor to reduce blurring in photos and videos.
“We believe the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 smartphone camera will support optical image stabilization (OIS) and anticipate that it will represent one of several opportunities at Apple that will benefit InvenSense,” the analysts wrote in a note, according to MacRumors. “In our analysis, we believe Apple chose to only include OIS camera technology in the larger iPhone 6 given that there is still a significant cost premium ($4 to $5) over standard auto focus solutions and that it provides a point of differentiation between the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the step-up model (5.5-inch).”
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, also said in another research note that the 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6 would be the only iPhone model this year to feature OIS technology. According to Kuo, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 would come with an improved lens module, which would allow the phone’s camera to focus on objects faster than the current iPhone 5s, while consuming less battery life.
Here is what Kuo said in his note, obtained by MacRumors:
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). 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.
Although the new OIS technology could be the differentiating factor between the two models of the upcoming iPhone 6, both versions of the device could be equipped with the same 8-megapixel sensor, customized by Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE), Kuo said, according to AppleInsider.
In addition to the camera enhancements, the iPhone 6 is also predicted to include Near field communication, or NFC, according to Vinh and Chen, who are “increasingly confident” about the feature’s inclusion in both versions of the next iPhone.
Bloomberg reported on Monday that both the 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch iPhone 6 models are expected to be released simultaneously in September, contradicting earlier reports that claimed Apple would launch the 4.7-inch version first, and delay the launch of the bigger variant -- due to manufacturing constraints -- to a later date, sometime in 2015.