Hear that? That's the sound of the entire point-and-shoot camera industry bracing for yet another blow. As smartphone cameras mature, it's becoming ever more difficult to convince consumers to use anything other than their phone outside of special occasions where ILCs or DSLRs are necessary. Aptina has a lot to do with that. Here at Mobile World Congress, the sensor outfit has announced its 12 megapixel and 13 megapixel mobile image sensors, aimed squarely at next-gen flagship phones that ought to be coming out in Q2 or Q3 this year. The smaller 1.1-micron pixel construction is the standout feature, with the AR1230 capable of capturing 4K video at 30fps as well as 1080p video at up to 96fps. The AR1330 throws in electronic image stabilization support at 1080p, while snagging 4K UHD and 4K Cinema formats at 30fps.
Over on the tablet PC / TV front, the AR0261 is a new 1080p-capable sensor that's destined to redefine what a front-facing camera can accomplish. It relies on a 1.4-micron pixel, and should have no issues capturing faces at up to 60fps when using its 720p mode. Furthermore, Aptina promises that this guy can work with applications involving gesture recognition and 3D video capture, but sadly, no OEMs are coming forward just yet with concrete plans to include it.