Rumor Has It: 4th-Gen iPhone to Have 5-Megapixel Camera

Evidence has emerged to back up the theory that Apple’s next iPhone iteration will have a 5-megapixel camera. It comes by way of DigiTimes, which reports that supplier OmniVision (S OVTI) has received a sizable order for the parts necessary for the improvement.

The current model only sports a 3-megapixel sensor, which is on par with a lot of devices, but many direct iPhone competitors have begun offering better resolution hardware. Five megapixels isn’t a lot compared to most point-and-shoot cameras on the market right now, but it’s likely enough for most people’s standard usage, and should help the iPhone become even more popular than it already is on sites like Flickr (s yhoo).

DigiTimes is quoting unnamed sources as saying that OmniVision, the company which currently supplies the CMOS sensor for the iPhone 3GS, has received a large order for 5-megapixel versions of the core camera component, which should help it increase its output to between 40-45 million units in 2010, up from 20-21 million in 2009.

The order is set to start being manufactured sometime in the first quarter of 2010, which is in keeping with the expected June/July launch of the next-gen iPhone at WWDC.

Expect video quality to improve as a result. A move to HD video in the iPhone would definitely help the device’s chances in the mobile video market, and could even spell the end for standalone low-cost devices like the Flip HD (S csco) and Sony’s (s sne) recently launched competitor, the Webbie HD.

Here’s hoping the next iteration of the iPhone’s camera also handles things like night and low-light shooting better, too. Many competitors now have built-in flashes, but I don’t see Apple (s aapl) marring its minimalist industrial design with an additional break in the back casing of the iPhone.