While many Android smartphone manufacturers are trying to improve the appeal of their flagship handsets by hiking the megapixel count on the phones' cameras, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been rumored to release its iPhone 6, the company’s next-generation smartphone, with the same 8-megapixel camera that exists on the current version.
Despite the craze for higher megapixel cameras in smartphones, Apple is not likely to enhance the camera sensor on the iPhone 6 and instead choose to focus on other ways of improving image quality. Megapixels are less of a priority for the company than overall image quality, which the iPhone-maker is expected to achieve through software advancements and features like optical image stabilization, AppleInsider reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
According to AppleInsider, the existing iPhone 5s is a good example of Apple’s lack of interest in bumping up numbers in terms of the camera sensor pixel count. Instead of increasing the number of pixels on the iPhone 5s, Apple enlarged each pixel’s size to increase the sensor’s light-gathering capabilities. In addition, the company also introduced a faster f/2.2 lens group, which offers better performance in settings with low or poor lighting.
The AppleInsider report echoed a recent report from The China Post, which suggested that the iPhone 6 may not feature a higher-resolution camera sensor in the 12 megapixel-16 megapixel range. Instead, the new iPhone’s camera could feature improved image stabilization, which is expected to reduce blurring associated with the motion of a camera during exposure.
According to rumors, Apple is expected to make the next iPhone thinner than its predecessor -- a design-trait that does not go well with advanced camera modules.
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An iDownloadBlog report said that multiple lenses and camera sensors get stacked on top of each other, taking more space and causing issues with thin devices. According to the report, there is not likely to be a megapixel bump for the iPhone until 2015, unless Apple comes up with a solution to this issue.
Apple first used an 8-megapixel rear camera in the iPhone 4S in 2011, and incorporated similar camera modules for the iPhone 5 in 2012 and iPhone 5c in 2013. Last year’s flagship iPhone 5s model also featured an 8-megapixel sensor, but came loaded with several hardware and software enhancements, such as a larger aperture and dual LED flash.
Meanwhile, Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at KGI Securities, predicted that the market share of smartphones carrying a 13-megapixel camera and above would continue to rise in 2015 as higher-resolution sensors are expected to replace the current 8-megapixel standard. According to him, 13-megapixel cameras will account for 65 percent of smartphones with high-resolution cameras by the end of 2014.