We suspected as much, but the inquisitive engineers at Chipworks have confirmed that the camera inside the new iPad is indeed the same one found in the iPhone 4. The optics, as we already knew, come from the iPhone 4S’ camera.
Chipworks says that “It is very likely that Apple has recycled the 5MP back illuminated CMOS image sensor from the iPhone 4,” — the Omnivision OV5650.
Further, the front-facing camera has also made previous appearances in Apple gear. Chipworks calls it the “secondary image sensor,” and it has been seen before in the iPod Nano and the iPad 2.
It all makes sense. Apple is no longer the most expensive seller of anything. Its MacBook Airs are cheaper than other ultrabooks, and the iPad is almost ridiculously cheap, especially now that it comes with 4G and a retina display for the same low price as last year.
Re-using components is surely part of this. After all, why not just order a bunch more iPhone 4 sensors and iPhone 4S lenses? This has another big advantage, too: reliability. Those camera sensors have been tested in the real world for almost two years now, and amongst the complaints about the iPhone 4’s design, the camera was never among them.
It’s getting easier and easier to predict Apple’s new products. The iPad 4? 8MP camera from the iPhone 4S, better battery life, thinner, lighter and — if the server troubles are fixed in time — Siri. I’d put a dollar on that.
[Via Apple Insider]