Apple Preparing for New iPhone in Third Quarter

Lorraine Luk at The Wall Street Journal:

According to some suppliers of components to Apple, the new version of the iPhone is expected to be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4 and sport an 8-megapixel camera. One person said the new iPhone will operate on Qualcomm Inc.’s wireless baseband chips.

A single global iPhone that works on both GSM and CDMA networks should streamline the manufacturing process and generate more profits. Hon Hai Precision will be manufacturing these “complicated and difficult to assemble”-iPhones, which Apple plans to sell 25 million of by the end of this year.

If this rumor is correct, I hope Apple does what it did with the iPhone 4. The iPhone 3G/3GS sports a 3.1-megapixel 1/4-inch CMOS sensor by OmniVision good for a pixel pitch of 1.75µm. The five megapixel backside illuminated image sensor on the iPhone 4 has more pixels but those pixels have the same pixel pitch of 1.75µm.

Pixel pitch is important: larger means more light can be captured, which in turn means better quality photos. Given what Apple did with the iPhone 4, the next iPhone should have an eight megapixel image sensor with a pixel pitch of at least 1.75µm.

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