We all know that Apple does not push camera with highest megapixels on its iPhone lineup. But, a new supply chain report claims 2018 lineup of iPhone models to boost higher-resolution camera sensors.
According to DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade publication, Apple has already ordered mobile camera sensor modules with “above 12-megapixel” resolution for 2018 iPhone models. The mass production of these camera modules is expected to begin in the fourth quarter. This timeframe hints at their introduction into the iPhone models launching next year.
Largan Precision, One of Apple’s supply chain partner, is building a new factory in Taichung in central Taiwan. In this new factory, the company will produce camera modules for 2018 iPhone. According to Largan, the production capacity of this upcoming plant will come online in phases rather than going all operational in one go.
A small-volume production will kick-off in October which will then gradually increase in the fourth quarter. Since the current smartphone cameras are shifting towards featuring dual or multiple lenses, larger apertures, and 3D sensing capabilities, the CEO of Largan has also hinted that their upcoming factory will have the capabilities to manufacture such lens modules.
It was only in 2015 when Apple launched iPhone 6s with higher resolution 12-megapixel cameras in its smartphone lineup. Currently, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have a 12-megapixel primary camera.
The report further adds that once the said factory is fully operational, the company will be able to produce 600 million lens modules or six times its current capacity. Since Apple does not sell 600 million iPhones or iPad in a quarter, let alone per month, it’s safe to assume that this manufacturing facility will produce camera modules for other vendors as well.
Taichung has denied sharing its production capacity, so it’s possible that someone in the reporting chain got their numbers wrong.
While an increase in the count of megapixels on a mobile phone camera seems exciting, but it’s important to know that megapixel count is just one of the many factors determining the overall quality of the image.
In my personal opinion, Apple should go down the road of improving the low light performance of its iPhone camera. What’s your opinion?