iPhone and iPad maker Apple Inc. may have to turn to Sony for manufacturing the smartphone’s camera CMOS (Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) sensor for the upcoming iPhone 5 which is scheduled for a September release.

According to FBR’s Capital Analyst Craig Berger, Santa Clara-based digital imaging solutions developer Omnivision, if given a chance, was supposed to use the world’s first BSI-2 technology which uses 1.1-micron pixel architecture allowing for low-light sensitivity situations and accurate color reproduction for improved overall image quality.

Another semiconductor heavyweight, Taiwan-based TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) was also one of the contenders and would use a 65nm manufacturing process on 300mm wafers. The yield rates, however, have been unacceptably low so far.

Sony, at the moment, is the most likely company to grab 90 percent of the contract to build the 8MP CMOS image sensors for the upcoming Apple-made smartphone and is likely to cost around $500 million.

Omnivision, however, is still in contention as a backup supplier, the ITProPortal reported.