Smartphone demand picks up, Sony fires all cylinders at image sensor plant


After reaching a plateau, smartphone demand is picking up pace as newly launched devices seem to be spurring interest in consumers. 

This becomes evident from a recent Sony report saying that the company is returning to full-scale manufacturing at its image sensor plant that makes the sensors used in smartphone cameras. This return to full-scale production happens after Sony ran at less than full capacity for part of the past year.

"The business environment for our customers is improving," Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing president Yasuhiro Ueda said at a news conference this Friday.

Why is Sony's return to full production so telling about smartphone demand? One big reason: Sony makes 40% of the CMOS image sensors used in smartphones, which is more than any other company.

Combined monthly production would grow in the second half of this business year from 70,000 wafers at present to 73,000 wafers.

Interestingly, Sony also mentioned that this rise is in part due to the company's efforts to diversify its client base. It's common knowledge that Apple's iPhones are the major Sony customer when it comes to image sensors, but Sony has now added a few big companies from Asia.

"Our client portfolio is getting less reliant on specific customers, as we are adding Chinese smartphone makers that are recently thriving," Ueda added.

source: Reuters

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10 Comments

1. dimas

Posts: 3342; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

40%? I thought sony sensors are seen around 80% of all the phones I see.

3. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Samsung, Toshiba, and Panasonic are among the other manufacturers that you'll find in smartphones. I think Samsung is found in 20% of smartphones.

5. dimas

Posts: 3342; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

I forgot about toshiba and panasonic thanks.

8. Djz89

Posts: 441; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

Didn't Sony buy Toshibas image department like a year or so ago?

10. Shamoy

Posts: 112; Member since: Dec 28, 2013

Yes, they bought Toshiba's image sensor division. Samsung's image sensor market share has shrunk under 15%.

2. TBomb

Posts: 1394; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Are phone shipments increasing or are the number of cameras on phone shipments increasing?

4. dimas

Posts: 3342; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Dual rear cameras +front. If Apple sell 10 million iphones, that's equal to 30 million camera sensors, not including huawei and other chinese phones.

9. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

Include Samsung too =D

6. Marduch

Posts: 81; Member since: Feb 04, 2015

At the first sight I read "Smartphone demand picks up, Sony fires all collars at image processing plant". Could be much better weekend if this were true :D

7. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

keep it up! too bad they still havent perfect their own camera in smartphone

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