According to this patent application by OmniVision Technologies Inc, the incumbent supplier of cameras to Apple, the next iPhone and maybe iPad could feature a mobile-phone camera with a backside illuminated sensor along with the highly anticipated global shutter. Why’s that important? Backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensors offer significant improvement in light gathering capabilities over standard CMOS sensors, and it’s claimed is already in use in the iPhone 4, while global shutters lessen the undesirable ‘jello’ effects seen in video clips captured with traditional rolling shutter designs.
However, It has been rumored recently that Sony has been awarded the contract to supply Apple with the cameras in the iPhone 5, ousting OmniVision. Sony is well known for their backside illuminated CMOS sensor technology in camera phones such as the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, but the recent triple tragedy in Northern Japan, where Sony manufactures camera-phone sensors may have delayed development, allowing Taiwan based OmniVision a much-needed break to step in with their new sensor.