8 MP CMOS Sensor Due?
The next iPhone could have a very fancy camera. This morning Omnivision revealed a new 8 megapixel CMOS sensor that can handle low-light shooting and packs electronic stabilization. It can record at 1080p (30 fps) or at 720p (60 fps) and is capable of hardware scaling.
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Omnivision has been the camera parts supplier for every model of iPhone yet released. Their focus on previous versions has been low light visibility and image accuracy, two things the OV8820 sensor has down. Since we aren't due to see the iPhone 5 until summer, this sensor looks to have arrived early enough to make the launch.
The next iPhone is also rumored to pack Near Field communication chip. This would allow wireless connectivity across small distances. Basically, your iPhone would be able to act as a credit card or a security key. Since Apple recently hired an expert in this tech, it seems likely that we'll see it in a new iPhone sooner or later.
And then there's the rumor of a MagSafe power port for the new iPhone. Magnetic power cords do have the advantage of not getting tangled as easily and of preventing you from accidentally jerking your laptop off the table.
So what else can we expect, in terms of hardware? While no credible processor rumors have yet developed, we expect to see some upgrade from the current 1 GHz chip in the iPhone 4 and iPad. Odds are good that whatever brain ends up in the iPad 2 will also power the iPhone 5, although Apple could change things up on us with this next iteration.
I'm not sure if Apple will be willing to go dual-core this early in the game. That will depend in large part on the battery life sacrifices that end up being necessary to do so.
Display size is likely to creep closer to that 4" sweet spot that other manufacturers are drifting towards. Apple may keep things closer to the 3.5-3.8" size of the scale, especially given battery life concerns.
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Really, what we're adding up to here is a moderate but not ground-breaking update to the iPhone line, much like the 3GS. The iPhone 4 brought a radically new design, SOC processor, retinal display and a front-facing camera. I don't see the iPhone 5 being such a revolutionary leap. Of course, if anyone can surprise is with unexpected awesome, it is Apple.