It looks like Apple wants to improve picture-taking abilities for its next iPhone. During a technology forum hosted by the Wall Street Journal, Sony CEO Howard Stringer reportedly made repeated comments about supplying image sensors to Apple. At one point he mentioned one of the company's factories being affected by the Japanese tsunami, noting its best image sensors are manufactured there and are sent to Apple. He also reportedly commented about the irony of trying to make Apple's cameras better than Sony's own devices.
This led to some puzzled analysis, since as far as we all know, Sony doesn't provide any sort of image sensors to Apple.
It sounds as though he may have been talking off the cuff and not even realizing that he was revealing unknown information.
The iPhone 4's camera technology came from a company called Omnivision, but Apple is no doubt looking to improve the technology for its next iPhone launch. Sony's sensors will surely be more expensive than Omnivision's.
The other issue raised by Stringer's comments is whether or not the damage to Sony's factory will delay the iPhone 5, even though no prior release date has been announced. The device was rumored to be available by the end of the year, but now it appears all bets may be off. For now.