In order to get our readers the device manufacturer as soon as possible, rather than going through a fuming sulfuric acid chip deprocessing we chose to use our infrared microscope to look through the structure of this image sensor. What you see are the die markings on the base layer of the image sensor. The image isnâ€™t beautiful, but itâ€™s enough to tell us that Sony is in our particular iPhone 4S.
Apple dual sources many of its components, but since 2009 Omnivision has been the sole supplier of the rear-facing image sensor used in the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. Has Apple gone whole hog toward Sony? Not likely since sole sourcing deprives Apple negotiating power. This change in procurement strategy for iPhone image sensors by Apple might indicate the increasing importance of the company’s ability to drive innovation, through competition, in image sensor technology.