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Sony Will Supply Image Sensors For iPhone 5

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To say Apple is secretive about its new products is like saying that Lionel Messi is an average footballer. The Cupertino outfit doesn’t like anyone knowing what it is planning and the only way we normally find out is through other, less tight-lipped companies, letting things slip.

And so it was last Friday that Sony’s Welsh-born CEO, Howard Stringer, was on stage in Carneige Hall in conversation with the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg. During the conversation Apple and Steve Jobs were mentioned several times and during one part of the conversation, Stringer raised the irony of Sony supplying its best camera to Apple. It “always puzzles me,” he said. “Why would I make Apple the best camera?” Since Sony is not currently building any image sensors for Apple, it is assumed that Sony will supply the parts for the up-coming iPhone 5. There were reports earlier this year that OmniVision, who supply the 5 megapixel image sensor for the iPhone 4, would not be supplying the iPhone 5 cameras as it would not have them ready in time.

One of the most persistent rumours surrounding the iPhone 5 is that the camera will be improved. Since Stringer was talking about Sony’s "best camera", this should mean that we will be seeing an 8 megapixel sensor housed in the next-gen mobile from Apple. Stringer talked about 15 of Sony’s factories in Japan which were damaged by the recent earthquake, which could be the reason behind the rumoured delay of the iPhone 5 which we reported on last week.

In related Howard Stringer news, it is reported this morning in Japan’s Nikkei that the CEO has confirmed a Honeycomb tablet from Sony will be coming this summer, and it will launch in the US first. In February we reported on a Sony tablet, called the S1, which was rumoured to be in development with a strange wrap-around design and which could be PlayStation-certified. While we don’t know if this was the device Stringer was talking about, we certainly hope it is, as a PS-certified tablet is something we really would like to see.

Source: Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg

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