Apple expects the next generation iPhone, coined the iPhone 4G, to sell around 45 million units in 2010 according to sources in Taiwan close to manufacturers of CMOS image sensors.
According to Taiwanese news outlet Digitimes, Omnivision Technologies, whom Apple preferred to rival Aptina Imaging, will more than double the output of so-called CIS for the next generation iPhone.
The other news tidbit is that Apple apparently wants a higher resolution, 5-megapixel, which would bring it on par with the camera resolution expected on most Android smartphones by June 2010.
One of the interesting characteristics of these sensors is that they can capture full 1080p HD video resolution at 30 fps, compared to the iPhone's 3GS VGA resolution.
Omnivision shipped more than 65 million CIS for Apple in 2009, a total that included tens of millions of sensors for the new range of iPod.
The manufacturer made profits of $8.1 million in the last quarter, which, when normalised mean that each CIS sold to Apple brought it less than 50 cents.
Obviously, a 5-megapixel iPhone in 2010 is one thing that we reported would happen and it is likely that the phone will be released at the forthcoming Apple Worldwide Developer Conference or WWDC which takes place every June.
A 5-megapixel camera makes sense on the iPhone 4G. The fact that it is expected to be even better than the rest of the competition even when they're juggling the same number of pixels is a tribute to Apple's engineers astute acumen. They are engaging themselves in a war over pixel count.