The speculation dovetails with recent rumors that Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple was looking to switch from its longstanding sensor supplier OmniVision, who provides the current 5-megapixel camera for its iPhone 4. Stringer's remarks add credence to that notion.
But a higher-resolution Sony camera for the iPhone 5 could portend possible iPhone 5 delays. If Sony's Exmor R camera sensors, currently used in the Sony Ericsson Xperia, are indeed to be part of the iPhone 5, then any delay with these camera components will delay the launch of the phone itself, especially as the quake's fallout begins to be felt in a components shortage for the tech industry overall.
Stringer's comments also illustrate how production schedules are vulnerable to the disruptions in the supply chain caused by the catastrophe in Japan. Even with preferential treatment secured in its dealer agreements, Apple cannot circumvent a significant parts shortage resulting from plant disruptions -- it can't pay extra for parts that aren't even there.
There is always the possibility that the Sony cameras could be for another Apple offering, such as the iPod nano, but most experts see more connections to the upcoming iPhone 5. Both Apple and Sony have declined to comment on the matter. (Mobiledia)