Sony currently supplies Apple with the sensors used on the rear camera of the current iPhone models. Outside of the overly robust Nokia Lumia 1020, the camera on the iPhone 5s remains unmatched. Granted it’s not all hardware, with Apple’s software playing a key role in outputting fantastic image quality. Hoping to improve upon the quality of images from the front-facing camera, Apple is reportedly in discussions with Sony. The Japenese company would double the supply of CMOS sensors shipped to Apple, who in turn would use Sony sensors in both the rear and front cameras on the iPhone 6.
Apple certainly realizes that the front camera is seeing increased usage numbers, thanks to FaceTime, Apple’s easy-to-use and free video calling software. For its part, Sony seems to be preparing for the increasing needs of Apple. Just last month, they purchased a plant from Renesas Electronics. Investments made by Sony could help increase production by up to 25%. While actual numbers have not be disclosed, most estimates suggest Sony supplies upwards of 100 million sensors to Apple in a given year. The new plant could help them meet the additional requirements, which could be double. Sony also supplies sensors to Samsung and Huawei Technologies.
Apple’s iPhone 5s introduced a new sensor that was 15% larger and featured bigger pixels. It was faster and resulted in improved low-light photography. Apple has often used photo quality as a key feature of the iPhone. The rear camera is just about the best available on a mobile device, so it certainly makes sense for Apple to look to move the bar on the front camera. Hey, better selfies!