Here's a crazy (but plausible) rumor for a Friday afternoon. While other manufacturers are releasing camera-centric smartphones — such as the Galaxy S4 Zoom and Lumia 1020 — Sony might decide to take a different route and offer high-end imaging as a smartphone accessory.
The latest rumors from Belgian camera site SonyAlphaRumors suggest that the manufacturer is preparing a lens with built-in imaging sensor and battery, that will mount to a smartphone and communicate wirelessly, after pairing over NFC. The device would also be usable on its own, though renders of the purported gadget seem to lack a screen of any kind. As such, the main use case involves attaching it to the back of a smartphone and viewing a live, wirelessly-beamed feed.
As for the optics behind this accessory, the site reports that it'll use the same sensor and lens as Sony's upcoming RX100 Mk II high-end point-and-shoot, a camera expected to sell for around $750. So it's unlikely this add-on will be cheap, though a second version is said to be on the way with a smaller sensor and larger optical zoom.
The site claims its information comes from "two trusted sources," and If the reports are accurate, it'd be a bold that combines Sony's presence in the smartphone and camera spaces into a genuinely innovative (if slightly mad) accessory. It's also a logical extension of Wifi-enabled cameras and Wifi SD cards, which allow smartphone connectivity. By offering a high-quality camera add-on for smartphones, Sony could surpass devices like the S4 Zoom in terms of image quality, while still allowing their phones to remain slim and sleek during regular use.
As always, take this unconfirmed information with a pinch of salt, but this certainly sounds like the sort of thing Sony might do. CEO Kaz Hirai has previously stated that smartphones and cameras are two of the company's three main areas of focus, and such a product would conveniently straddle both categories.
So would you be interested in a camera add-on for your phone? Shout out in the comments and let us know what you think.