Bloomberg News

OmniVision Falls as Website Sees Sony Sensor in Apple IPhone

October 14, 2011

(Updates with analysis by Chipworks in third paragraph.)

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- OmniVision Technologies Inc. tumbled 9.4 percent after an analysis of the new iPhone raised concern that one of the company’s key components may have been excluded from Apple Inc.’s best-selling device.

An iPhone 4S taken apart by Chipworks, which studies electronics components, sported an image sensor made by Sony Corp., rather than OmniVision, which had been used in at least one previous iteration of the device, according to the analysis. It’s possible that some units have sensors made by other manufacturers, Chipworks said.

Inclusion in Apple devices is a boon for component makers, while exclusion can mean lost sales. TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. rose the most in almost a decade yesterday after analysis by Ifixit showed its chips are included in iPhone 4S, which went on sale today. Qualcomm Inc. chips beat out those from Intel Corp. for placement in the smartphone, IHS Inc. said.

Chipworks plans to review additional iPhones to see whether OmniVision made it into some units. Scott Foster, a spokesman for OmniVision, didn’t return calls seeking comment.

OmniVision, based in Santa Clara, California, dropped $1.65 to $15.95 in New York. The stock had fallen 41 percent this year before today.

Image sensors are used in digital cameras to convert an optical image into electronic signals.

Apple may sell as many as 4 million iPhones on its debut weekend, according to Carl Howe, an analyst at Yankee Group. Customers lined up at stores in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and U.K. to be the first with the device.

Next year, Apple may sell more than 100 million iPhones, according to Wayne Lam, an analyst at IHS in El Segundo, California.

--Editors: Tom Giles, Nick Turner

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Satariano in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at

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