Sony CEO Confirms Camera Module Production for Apple? 8-Megapixel Camera on iPhone 5?

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According to 9 to 5 Mac, Walt Mossberg tonight conducted an interview with Sony CEO Howard Stringer at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of the JapanNYC festival, and Stringer interestingly revealed that its shipments of camera sensors to Apple have been delayed by the effects of the earthquake in Japan last month. Sony is not currently known to be a camera supplier for Apple, as OmniVision Technologies has been reported as the sole supplier of image sensors for all of Apple's mobile products so far.

Stringer just said that their camera image sensor facility in Sendai was affected by the tsunami. Getting image sensors to Apple will be delayed.

Stringer's discussion of camera production for Apple was confirmed by The Wall Street Journal:

Early on, he raised the irony of Sony supplying camera components for Apple devices. It "always puzzles me," he said. "Why would I make Apple the best camera?"

It is unclear what devices he was talking about as Sony isn't known to supply key camera components, known as image sensors, to Apple; A Sony spokeswoman declined to comment and an Apple spokesperson couldn't be reached for comment.

Given that Sony is not believed to be a camera supplier for any of Apple's current products, the assumption is that the cameras are for an unreleased product that may be in the early stages of a production ramp-up. That assumption draws renewed attention to an April 2010 report from Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar claiming that Sony had in fact been tabbed to provide image sensors for the 2011 version of the iPhone, with the sensors reportedly coming in at 8 megapixels.

That same report also claimed that OmniVision would continue to provide camera sensors in a 5-megapixel variety for the fourth-generation iPhone, a claim that did in fact turn out to be true with the iPhone 4.

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