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iPhone 5 Camera Maker Stuck With "Manufacturing Issues"?

In a research memo published online, FBR Capital analyst Craig Berger notes that Sony may be the one picking up the order for manufacturing the camera CMOS sensor for the iPhone 5.

Forbes' Eric Savitz (opens in new tab) writes that Omnivision may be having some technical issues which might put its "iPhone socket supplier status" at risk, and prompt Apple to switch to Sony instead.

According to Berger, Omnivision was going to use its BSI-2 technology, which uses a "1.1-micron pixel architecture allowing for low-light sensitivity and accurate color reproduction for better overall image quality", a world first.

TSMC was going to use a 65nm manufacturing process on 300mm wafers but yield rates have so far been unacceptably low for it to be commercially viable.

It looks therefore increasingly likely that Sony will grab up to 90 per cent of the contract to build the eight-megapixel CMOS image sensors for the iPhone 5, which is estimated to be worth around $500 million for this year alone.

Omnivision may be used as a backup supplier once it manages to solve its present issues. The iPhone 5 is rumoured to be physically different to the iPhone 4 with a bigger 4-inch screen, a thinner body, a Qualcomm baseband chip, a dual core Apple A5 SoC and a better battery.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.