It’s very likely that Apple will spend some significant effort in improving the optics on the next iPhone camera. The iPhone 4S camera is lovely when compared to competitors and even older iPhones. I can’t envision that the iPhone 5 camera won’t have similar upgrades. Not just megapixel count (it’s not needed to be fair) but the actual optics upgraded to improve the picture quality itself.
Sony are the primary supplier for Apple’s iOS camera systems, and typically these are golden. However, Sony have made huge leaps & bounds to improve their quality and it’s hard to imagine Apple not buying into that.
However many companies, none moreso than Sony, have been pushing mirrorless cameras that have the quality of dSLR’s but without the bulk or noise. They even have inter-changeable lenses. There once was a time when Apple had a camera. Now I’m not saying Apple are desperate to get into that game, but there’s now an Android-powered Nikon point-and-shoot. Apple may want to get back into the game with Sony NEX-style cameras powered by iOS.
An iCamera touting all of the features of the NEX range, but with that Apple sheen and iOS powering it would be beautiful. Maybe overkill given how good the camera in iPhone is, but perhaps blowing the camera market out of the water with a truly “smart” camera is a solid way for Apple to expand their product lineup. It would certainly be just as tantilising a prospect as an iOS powered television (although the television is more likely at this stage).
A camera could be the big moment Tim Cook introduces a product that doesn’t have the influence of Jobs behind it. That, of course, doesn’t consider the notion that perhaps Jobs wanted a camera to be re-introduced. Who thought they’d ever revisit the Newton?