Good-bye, grainy selfies! Sony tipped as FaceTime camera supplier for 2015 iPhones

iPhone 5C FaceTime

Your selfies will receive a significant and much welcomed upgrade next year as Sony – which last week announced plans to unload its computer business and spin off its TV segment – is gearing up to kick off production of front-facing cameras for next-generation iPhones in 2015, if a report from Japanese business site Nikkei is an indication.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant has been making iSight back cameras since the iPhone 4s, with current estimates in the ballpark of a hundred million CMOS sensors a year. It also makes cameras for Samsung and Huawei smartphones.

Therefore, landing that contract would mark a major win for both parties and a huge loss for OmniVision, which currently supplies CMOS sensors for the iPhone’s rather unimpressive front-facing camera…

As highlighted by Zac Hall of 9to5Mac, the story by Nikkei Asian Review has it:

Sony has entered negotiations with Apple to double its supply of camera components for a new iPhone slated to roll out as early as next year, taking another step in its pivot toward the mobile and imaging fields.

The report goes on to say that Apple is looking to switch to Sony sensors for the secondary camera on the screen side, with Sony likely doubling manufacturing output of its CMOS sensors should the release of 2015 iPhones go well.

In fact, an agreement with Apple is said to have prompted Sony to step up production to keep up with the increase in orders and buy a brand new plant in January. Sony reportedly plans to invest 35 billion yen, or about $340 million, in the facility to increase its monthly output by as much as 25 percent.

Sony is also an iPad Air battery supplier, the report asserted.

Sony has recently started providing batteries for Apple’s iPad Air tablet. In December, it scuttled plans to unload its battery business, instead choosing to shift toward products for mobile devices.

Sony’s CMOS sensors are world-class so the deal should enable Apple to catch up with competition in terms of full HD 1080p video calling.

Most of Apple’s innovation in the camera department has dealt with the back-facing camera, with the front-facing module receiving only minor technological improvements. Despite the enhancements, the iPhone’s FaceTime camera has fallen behind the curve.

As you know, the current-generation iPhone 5s has a 720p FaceTime camera out the front. By comparison, some high-end Android devices are outfitted with 1080p front-facing cameras.

It’s not just video capture, the iPhone 5s’s FaceTime module can only take 1.2-megapixel images: that’s 1,280-by-960 photos.

Do you care about the front camera at all?

Should Apple step up its game in terms of high-def video calling and image taking?

Nothing can be as embarrassing as posting low-quality iPhone selfies on social media so yes, I do think it is a high time Apple realized that its handset is one of the worst cameras for taking self-portraits.