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.


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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