Talking tech since 2003

As we edge closer and closer to the highly anticipated announcement of Apple’s iPhone 5 – the latest installment in the company’s wildly successful mobile phone line – the Internet has become flooded with rumors about what new bells and whistles the latest generation iPhone will sport, much like we see with every product launch and event the company puts on.  With the iPhone 4 having already broke ground with several mobile breakthroughs, it’s honestly a challenge to fathom what Apple could possibly do to improve an already advanced device.  What’s more interesting, however, is to read all of the rumors and speculations as to what Apple will improve upon this time around.

The “big news” the other day regarding the upcoming iPhone 5 was that electronics manufacturer Sony may have accidentally revealed that they were to produce the cameras for the device.  You see, in an interview with Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, Sony CEO Howard Stringer was quoted by CNET as saying that the tsunami in Japan interrupted the production of image censors.  Mossberg has been paraphrased to have said something to the effect that these censors are used in the cameras for the iPhones “or iPads.”

As you can imagine, this is definitely big news for anyone following along with all of the iPhone 5 speculation.  The International Business Times has even gone as far as to speculate that the camera Stinger was referring to is indeed intended to be used on the iPhone 5.  But here’s the kicker; the camera is estimated to be of superb quality, sporting eight glorious megapixels.

But, even as intriguing as this all is, I must say that I really don’t think the eight-megapixel camera is such a big deal.  Sure, we all want to have great image quality.  At the same time though, we really have to sit down and ask ourselves when quality is being taken too far.  The current generation of the Apple iPhone sports a five-megapixel camera, which is comparable to what you would see in a top-of-the-line consumer camera era 2002/2003.  Of course it’s not at the same quality level as a mid-range consumer camera today which typically offers between ten and twelve megapixels, but the fact of the matter is that the device is a phone.  Not a camera.

At core, the iPhone 4’s camera gets things done.  If you need to take a quick shot, it’s there can can be used in a snap.  But truth be told, an internal camera inside of a phone should never really be used as a primary camera for those looking for better results.  After all, it’s highly unlikely that anyone who works with images at a more professional or skilled level would ever dream of using their camera phone to take their more focused and accurate shots.

With that said, the iPhone’s camera doesn’t need to be improved upon.  It’s there for convenience; not to produce full-on motion pictures (although it’s been done).

Moreover, with mobile carriers becoming infamous for their congested and slow networks, it honestly scares me to even think about what higher quality multi-media messages would mean for already sluggish connections.  After all, higher quality media inevitably means higher file sizes and more network utilization in order to send.  Is that something that carriers are ready for?

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