Apple’s confirmed-but-not-confirmed acquisition this past week of Israeli camera maker LinX has iPhone 7 watchers wishing, begging and hoping that the next great smartphone will incorporate advanced photo-taking technologies.
Neither Apple nor LinX is confirming the buyout, estimated at $20 million by the Wall Street Journal, although Apple did give its standard response that it does sometimes acquire small companies and is not compelled to let the public know.
Assuming this deal is real, Apple watchers have begun slobbering all over themselves in anticipation of improved camera features for the next iPhone. After all, the iPhone is one of the world’s most popular cameras already, and is Number 1 on photo-sharing site Flickr.
LinX boasts of its cameras that provide DSLR-like quality in small form factors for smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks.
From there, the rumors and speculation heat up. MacRumors nicely boils down the possibilities that LinX presents, including technology that will enable Apple to ditch the protruding cameras seen in its latest models, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
“LinX specializes in multi-aperture cameras for mobile devices, which offer several benefits over single aperture cameras, including the ability to pack impressive image quality in a smaller size.”
SLR image quality, including better pictures indoors and in low lighting situations, depth mapping for 3D models, are also possibilities, MacRumors states.
The LinX technology might also help you muck around with your picture focus, after the fact. According to LinX, “We allow Apps to freely use the 3D information captured by our camera to achieve amazing new features such as the ability to refocus an image after it has been captured, measurement of the true dimensions of objects, 3D object modeling and real time background replacement for video calls.
4K for iPhone 7?
Speaking of image quality, rumors popped up this past week that iPhone 7 could glimmer with a 4K “ultra high definition” display thanks to new technology from longtime Apple partner Sharp. Sharp earlier this month showed off a 5.5-inch LCD display with 3860 x 2160 pixel resolution and 806 pixel density per inch in China.
Apple’s current 5.5-inch display on the 6 Plus has1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and a density of 401 ppi.
Boy Genius Report calls the Sharp technology “ridiculous” (in a good way) and seems to think such displays would most likely be for smartphones coming in 2016, not this year.
“Apple has never tried to match competing devices when it comes to specs, and for the time being the company appears to be interested in delivering a Retina experience across devices. But at the same time, Apple does have a 5K iMac in its lineup, as well as support for 4K external displays in certain Macs, and the company is rumored to be working on a top-of-the-line 8K iMac. Thus, it wouldn’t be surprising to see iPhone 7 models of the future with 4K screens.”
Apple revealed this past week that its annual Worldwide Developers Conference will be held June 8-12 in San Francisco, and pledged that the event would be “The epicenter of change” – a tagline that those hit with earthquakes in that area in the past might not embrace.
Apple is expected to shake up its iOS software, with version 9, and OS X Mac software, as well as revamp the Apple TV. The iOS 9 focus could be more on stability than features. But little is expected in the way of iPhone 7 (or iPhone 6S or 6S Plus smartphones).
Valuewalk laments that “Times have changed from years ago, when Apple used to announce the iPhone in summer. The corporation has since altered its schedule significantly, and now the focus of the WWDC is elsewhere.” Apple has taken to rolling out new iPhones (including the iPhone 6 and 6S) in September rather than June, as it used to do.
As we mentioned in our previous iPhone 7 rumor rollup, the debate about whether Apple will actually introduce an iPhone 6S, 6S Plus or 7 has heated up, with many leaning toward the iPhone 7.