Space gray iPhone 5s camera

There has been a myriad of rumors surrounding the oft-rumored iPhone 6 and what kinds of features we can expect in the next-generation smartphone. We’ve heard about potential flagship features, ranging from NFC and wireless charging to a thinner and rounder chassis, while one lesser-mentioned improvement could be optical image stabilization. But if a new prediction is accurate, the feature could be limited to the 5.5-inch iPhone.

According to Pacific Crest Securities analysts John Vinh and Kevin Chen, optical image stabilization could be exclusive to the 5.5-inch iPhone to help Apple differentiate the larger iPhone with the 4.7-inch model that is also expected to be released. The analysts claim that a $4 to $5 premium on optical image stabilization over traditional auto-focus solutions could be the underlying decision behind this move… 

iPhone 6 Martin Hajek

MacRumors obtained the note from Barrons:

“We believe the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 smartphone camera will support optical image stabilization (OIS) and anticipate that it will represent one of several opportunities at Apple that will benefit InvenSense. In our analysis, we believe Apple chose to only include OIS camera technology in the larger iPhone 6 given that there is still a significant cost premium ($4 to $5) over standard auto focus solutions and that it provides a point of differentiation between the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the step-up model (5.5-inch).”

Optical image stabilization is a mechanism that reduces the amount of motion blur in a photo through a lens with built-in stabilization or a standalone sensor. Apple currently uses software-based image stabilization, but the iPhone 6 could have sensors provided by semiconductor company InvenSense. OIS has traditionally been reserved for digital cameras, but competitors like HTC and Google are increasingly including the technology in smartphones.

Here is a comparison photo:

InvenSense OIS

It was originally speculated that the 5.5-inch iPhone would be delayed because of manufacturing difficulties, but a recent Bloomberg report claims that both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models could be available in September. The larger 5.5-inch version could have a $100 premium over the 4.7-inch model, although it might be worth it if a sapphire crystal display ends up being another differentiating feature.

As an unofficial poll of sorts, I have posted a comment below for each screen size. Your task is to upvote the comment for the screen size you prefer, and feel free to reply with a reason why on top if you wish. Let’s try to avoid using the downvote button to keep the results as accurate as possible for this mini experiment.

  • Joe Rossignol

    4.7-inch iPhone.

    • Jaleon

      Out of the two options I prefer the one with the 4.7 inch screen, but I think they’re both too big =(

    • SteveZ

      why not just put the vote in the article
      just saying

      • Joe Rossignol

        That’s so typical. This is outside the box.

      • Cameron Chao

        i want the 4.7 size but however if the 5.5 comes with great features such as OIS and Sapphire crystal display, it would be a very tough decision for me.

      • Sam Draper

        Im with you, although it’ll be tough as the 5.5 will be massive!

    • Matt

      I will be so disappointed if the flagship phone is 5.5 inches, because I will have to get it, and a phone that big is ridiculous.

    • Justin Rowe

      I’m in the gang saying that 4.7 & 5.5″ are too big but if I have to choose it will be the 4.7″.
      I’ve always admired Apples (well Steve Jobs) stance on the the size of the iPhone and feel they’ve kinda gave in to the impression that we all want a larger phone when in fact some don’t.

      • Sam Draper

        However a huge amount if people do, i believe the 5/5s to be too small, and i would consider a move to samsung if they didnt make a larger phone, im sure people are in the same boat as me. Why else would Apple go against what they have said in relation to screen size.

      • Justin Rowe

        Had to reply to you after all this time and will say that I totally agree now (as I type this on my 4.7″ 6).

        It was a good move going to 4.7″ and I like it a lot 🙂

        I’m happy to say I stand corrected

  • Joe Rossignol

    5.5-inch iPhone.

    • Marcus

      An even bigger iPhone would be nice. I’d have to see what it feels like at an Apple store though.

    • Adam Bowman

      Don’t downvote? I haven’t been able to downvote (for some reason) for months on this site. I wonder why.

      Anyway, I can’t wait to have an iPhone with a MUCH bigger screen.

      • Joe Rossignol

        Disqus no longer shows the number next to downvotes, but it still determines the ranking of a comment.

    • Joseph Silva

      Bigger Iphone , bigger resale value

    • I’m curious as to why you opted to use the comments as a polling area, rather than an actual poll in the post like in the past

  • ɑղժɾҽա

    I’m getting the 5.5″ iPhone 6 anyways. It would have the higher resolution display over the 4.7″ iPhone 6. It might even have longer batter life and better technology.

    • Sam Draper

      Doubtful, larger battery, yes, but thatll be just to cope with the larger screen draining it.

  • CS

    I’ll just wait and see…..

  • Julio Cesar

    Does’t make sense since when you hold a bigger and heavier device your hands gets more stable.

    • Kurt

      That doesn’t help enough. You absolutely need OIS in all cameras. My 5.7″ Note still needs OIS. Taking videos with camera phones without OIS is terrible most of the time. Look up videos on the difference. You clearly don’t know how much smoother it is. Lumia vids are a good choice.

      • Julio Cesar

        Yeah, but I mean that the 4.7 model need optical image stabilization too.
        My point is: if the device is bigger, you can use more of your hand to hold it, that make a bit more stable.

        All cameras should have optical image stabilization, because we’re not perfect machines, and we can’t (or don’t want) to buy and use with the device an camera rig or steadycam =P

      • Kurt

        Good point. I bought a image stabilizer like steadycam for my DSLR…I don’t use, (though it works amazingly well). I just use my lens that has IS built in when taking videos. I agree, 4.7″ should get it too. Features and battery life are more important than making it the thinnest smartphone. Apple just doesn’t get it.

      • Julio Cesar

        I think they need to stop making it thinner and put more things inside =P
        They always making the components smaller and better, so why don’t use the extra space to a larger battery? Maybe even an dual CPU / GPU to gets more performance when needed…

  • ChrisJ

    Why believe what a website posts huh? Everything may be just about money. Unless this information comes from a former worker at Foxconn I won’t believe anything. The “We Believe” annotation from a damn website should not make it into the highlights. I can also say “I believe the iPhone 6 will be only 5.5 inches and it is going to include a A8 eight-core processor just because the “A8″ has an eight at the end” And? No one is going to listen to me right? People. Just wait for the damn announcement and that’s it! The iPhone 6 most probably won’t even have Optical image stabilization! But here it is. I don’t know that’s just my opinion.

  • James Gunaca

    The differentiating factor between the phones is the SIZE! Please, Apple, don’t put features in the 5.5in phone that we can’t get in the 4.7in model.

    • quitcherbichinn

      If the only thing that differentiates the 2 phones is the screen size then that isn’t really a big motivator…especially if it turns out to be true a 5.5″ phone would have a higher cost than a 4.7″ iPhone. I think it is safe to assume that IF 2 different sized iPhones come out this year that one will be a premium over the other…one is going to have more features in it than the other. That’s what gives incentive to buy a POSSIBLY more expensive phone.

      • James Gunaca

        Yeah, I know that’s most likely what will happen…but then Apple is essentially encouraging (all but forcing) me to buy the bigger phone when that form factor isn’t really what I’m looking for. The 4.7inch size sounds excellent, the 5.5 sounds just too big. I’ve put a Galaxy Note in my hand and it’s just too big.

        I’m sure the 4.7in will be great, even greater than the 5s, but if they put things like better optics and a higher PPI screen (not just bigger in size, but in screen quality) I’m going to feel like I’m missing out just because I didn’t want to drop the extra $100 or whatever, and carry around a phablet.

      • Daniel Akierman

        I don’t agree with you. Look at the iPad lineup…iPad mini and iPad Air has the same specs, the screensize is the thing that differentiates them. The iPad Air also has a premium prize over the mini. So I believe apple will do the same with the iPhone lineup.

      • James Gunaca

        That’s a great point, actually. For the most part, they did make feature parity between the devices with the latest round of devices. Let’s hope for the same on the iPhone 6 models!

    • Heitor Castro 

      You’re absolutely right. Both iPhones would be the same generation, the difference must be only the screen size, not the features. If the 5.5-inch comes with this image stabilization, I’d want it on the 4.7-inch as well, and I’m not obligated to buy the larger model to get this “one more thing”.

  • SteveZ

    No shite!
    I don’t believe it!
    I do not accept this!

  • Guess they don’t want the mini guy cannibalizing the big guy’s profits like in the case of the iPad mini…

  • Julio César

    I think 4.5 inches is the best size for a smartphone, not too big and not too small. Of course all bezels have to be removed

  • Jason B

    Maybe explains the weird looking differences between the 4.7″ vs the 5.5″ cameras in the back side comparison between the two a while back.

  • Wesh

    aaah at last! Always wanted OIS on iphone since Lumia 920 introduced it.
    Cant wait for great low light pictures! (and better not make it exclusive! I want to have a choice for crying out loud. 5.5 might be to big (is what she said))

  • Danial

    WTF apple??! >.<

  • Kilroy672

    Any thoughts on how much the iPhone 6 will cost? It depends if they offer 32 gb only and not 16gb (which is a good move). My guess the 4.7 will start at $749 and the 5.5 will start at $849.

  • iThinkergoiMac

    “The analysts claim that a $4 to $5 premium on optical image stabilization over traditional auto-focus solutions could be the underlying decision behind this move…”

    Image stabilization and auto-focus are two different things. Image stabilization is not a component or part of auto-focus as this statement implies. Auto-focus allows the camera to automatically focus the image based on what’s in the center, what you pick, or some more complex algorithm like face recognition.

    Image stabilization helps reduce the blurring effect of movement from handheld cameras. This is not the same blur that you get from out of focus objects.

  • Tony

    Wasn’t this same rumor around when iPhone 5s came out? I remember reading similar but it wasn’t actually done. 5c and 5s came out and neither really had that implemented properly. I do hope they don’t make the mistake of saying 4.7 you get this.. 5.5 you get this over here.. I feel that will force people into making an already difficult choice. If it was just about screen size that might just be enough for people to say 4.7 because it’s not to big.. or 5.5 because I like bigger. But to throw exclusives onto one really isn’t a good plan. If they do this then why didn’t they do that when iPad Air came out vs iPad Mini Retina? Hopefully it’s not a future trend.

  • Andres

    I can’t picture a 5.5 in my pocket

    • Tony

      Agreed, I know it won’t fit in mine so that’s a tough call.