Apple’s 5.5″ iPhone 6 to Get Optical Image Stabilization, But Not 4.7″ Model?


iphone 6 three colours

With Apple rumoured to launch two iPhone 6 models in 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch sizes, what would be the differentiating features between the models?

The latest research note from well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the 5.5-inch iPhone will feature optical image stabilization (OIS), while the 4.7-inch model may not (via 9to5Mac), just one way to distinguish features between the two models.

The excerpt from the research note says the 4.7-inch model will use a middle mount open-loop voice coil motor (VCM), while the 5.5-inch model will use an OIS-VCM:

Rather, we predict it will use a middle-mount type of open-loop VCM updated from the one used in the existing iPhone 5S. The 5.5” iPhone 6 is more likely to be equipped with OIS VCM due to lower estimated shipments and the need for more product features to differentiate itself from the 4.7” iPhone 6.

Kuo goes on to say “Compared with conventional open-loop VCM, closed-loop VCM keeps records of focus points, enabling it to produce better quality pictures, focus faster and save power.”

iphone 6 camera

iphone 6 touch id

Apple has improved its camera optics and sensors with each iteration of their smartphone and the iPhone 6 looks to continue that tradition. Despite the 4.7-inch model lacking OIS for its camera, Kuo predicts it will still lead competitors in picture quality.

Back in May, Apple published a patent for “Super-resolution based on optical image stabilization”, which detailed how it could integrate OIS. Earlier in January, the company was granted an OIS patent for a “VCM OIS actuator module”, which described how the setup could result in enhanced images.

Bloomberg reported yesterday Apple plans to start iPhone 6 production in July for both of its larger models, with an estimate launch set for September.


  • Al

    I can’t imagine Apple will make the larger iPhone better than the smaller one. It makes no sense as they would be alienating there customers who want to stick with a smaller phone. I’m confident that both phones will be equal, with size being the one and only difference.

  • shier

    some sadistic part of my brain hopes that all these leaked phones were intentionally leaked by apple and the actual phone will be completely different

  • The days of surprises are gone…but there might be hope!

  • The larger phone, if it costs more, will need to have more ‘features’ to justify the extra dough. Apple will make us choose, again.

  • Shameer Mulji

    You would think that having a bigger, higher-resolution screen, in and of itself would justify the higher price point.

  • They do it with laptops and iMacs, so why wouldn’t they do it with their phones? Many features take up more physical space (I could see optical image stabilization being one of them). It would make sense that they would have the ability to put it in the larger phone and not the smaller one.

    I’m not saying I like the idea of a larger phone being more featured, as I would much prefer a smaller size with all the features, but it does make sense that they might do this.

  • Al

    Laptops and phones are two different animals. Laptops serve more complex tasks, and their specifications can be configured. It’s just not a valid comparison.

    I don’t see the “bigger” phone as a “better” phone. It’s just bigger to satisfy that market segment that wants a bigger screen. The indications I see are that the majority of the market does not want a bigger screen. So the reason for not adding more features is that Apple will not want to punish the majority of their market who want the smaller phone.

    Also, the larger the phone, the lesser degree that it needs image stabilization. Meaning, the smaller phone would need it more (if only marginally). Therefore, it makes no sense to give the better system to the larger device as the consumers of the smaller phone will collectively be screaming, “what the hell?!”

    So, it doesn’t matter that the larger phone may have more room for something extra. Apple just won’t screw with their customers like that.

  • ????Dennis

    Just get rid of that ugly ass antenna line….

  • I agree with you on a number of points, and I definitely share your preference for a smaller phone.

    That being said, most people don’t want a 17″ laptop either, but that didn’t stop Apple from adding more ports to it than the more popular 15″ version.

    Apple HAS screwed with their customers many times by not providing features that many people want. I’m hoping they don’t do that in this case, but I could see it happening.

    You’re also right in that the lighter and smaller the phone is, the more need there would be for stabilization. It would be ironic.