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Next iPhone may have 1080p-capable hi-def camera

Apple's next iPhone could have a camera capable of recording 1080p video, now that sensor supplier OmniVision has upgraded its wares.

Apple's next iPhone could include a camera capable of recording 1080p high-definition video.

The rumour is based on the fact that Apple's image-sensor supplier, OmniVision, has just launched a slimmer 5-megapixel unit that could fit in the current iPad, iPod touch and a thinner iPhone.

We've seen plenty of rumours concerning the camera on the iPhone 5, or possibly iPhone 4S. There have been suggestions that an 8-megapixel camera will be fitted, supplied by Sony, rather than OmniVision. That resolution would bring the iPhone into line with other current smart phones, such as the gorgeous Samsung Galaxy S 2. There's also the possibility of Apple moving the flash unit further from the lens in a bid to improve photo quality.

Despite a recent spate of 8-megapixel phone snappers, however, plenty of handsets are still bundled with 5-megapixel cameras. If the sensor and processing software is of a high quality, then it's still possible to obtain good results with a lower-resolution camera.

There's no need for a high megapixel count to shoot 1080p videos either -- it's the processing of 1080p at 30 frames per second that's the important part, as most users won't tolerate dropped frames. Apple's dual-core A5 chip, expected to appear in the next iPhone, is more than up to that task.

Existing Apple devices can shoot 720p video at best, so sticking the new OmniVision OV5690 sensor into the iPad 2, iPod touch and iPhone would be a great move.

There are plenty of handheld devices capable of shooting in HD now, most notably, perhaps, mini-camcorders. Having this capability in the iPhone would mean users had one less gadget to carry around, though.