Rumor: 5.5-inch iPhone 6 variant will feature optical image stabilization feature

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Date: Wednesday, June 25th, 2014, 12:22
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

If you’re hankering for an iPhone 6 with optical image stabilization (OIS), it may only be available on the rumored 5.5-inch version.

Per AppleInsider, a research note published by KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has indicated that while the iPhone 6 will use a middle-mount open-loop voice coil motor, not an OIS VCM. The part is said to be an updated version of what is being used in the iPhone 5s.

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Unlike common VCMs, an OIS system mechanically controls a light path as it travels from lens to sensor either through manipulation of lens elements or the sensor itself. OIS modules are more expensive than middle-mount VCMs and, in some cases, can be heavier as well.


Kuo sees Apple deploying an OIS VCM in the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 to further differentiate the “phablet” from the company’s other handset offerings. With superior image quality, the larger iPhone can be marketed as a higher-end device with a substantially different feature set. The analyst estimates the OIS part comes at a US$3 or US$3.50 premium over the iPhone 5s VCM.

Despite the lack of OIS in the 4.7-inch handset, the middle-mount VCM is said to outperform the current iPhone 5s in terms of focus speed and power efficiency. Put up against competing smartphones, however, the open-loop VCM Apple plans to deploy is deficient. Handsets like Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and the upcoming Mi4 from Xiaomi feature closed-loop VCM designs that track focus points for quick focusing and power-efficient operation.

While focus and stabilization hardware may differ between the two models, Kuo is confident that both iPhone 6 versions will use an 8-megapixel Sony sensor customized especially for Apple. Combined with Apple’s vertical software and hardware integration, the complete package will likely be a market leader when the device sees launch later this year, Kuo said.

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