Sony aims to expand its image sensor business to the Chinese market

Sony aims to expand its image sensor business to the Chinese market
Sony might be struggling as smartphone manufacturer, but the company's image sensor business seems to be outpacing every other player in the industry. 

According to the head of Sony's device solutions business, Tomoyuki Suzuki, sales of chips created by the company's division are likely to increase sales to 50 billion yen in fiscal year 2015, up 100 billion yen ($804 million) from the previous year. 

Although the growth rate isn't as good as it was the year before, the company reported a 40% increase in fiscal year 2014, Suzuki argues that the company struggled to keep up with demand. To increase capacity, Sony invested significantly in new manufacturing facilities. Back in February, the company announced a 105 billion yen investment, and the company will spend 45 billion yen more in fiscal year 2015.

According to a previous report, Sony is estimated to make $20 out of each iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus that Apple sales, and rumors suggest that Sony will also make the camera sensor for the iPhone 6S series. Although Apple is Sony's largest customer for smartphone image sensors, Samsung (who also manufactures its own sensors) is also using Sony sensors on all of its latest high-end models, such as the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, or the Galaxy Note 4

Apparently, Sony is now gearing up to partner with Chinese manufacturers. The company already makes the image sensors for some of Xiaomi's upper-end smartphones, but the Sony executive stated the company is expanding its production capacity with "orders from Chinese smartphone makers in mind".

Back in May, a report published in the Wall Street Journal revealed that Sony is estimated to have a 40.3 share of the image sensor market, although these numbers are likely to include orders coming in from businesses in the industrial and automotive markets.

Alongside its Playstation division, the image sensor business is one of the main areas of growth (both in terms of sales and of profits) for Sony. Back in 2014, the company spun off its TV division, and the company is also rumored to be looking into doing the same with its smartphone business. Despite this, however, Suzuki was also quoted stating that Sony will never focus entirely on image sensors, as "Sony is not a semiconductor company".

source: Reuters

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19 Comments

1. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Seriously, it's Sony own fault that they can't find a way to hold consumers confidence. If we look deeply Sony didn't prove that they were the right choice for their fans. They are the major supplier of sensor for iPhone and Samsung, yet they failed to beat them practically, or at least come on par with them. 2015 already, and OIS phones from Sony are nowhere to be seen; that's another negative point. People nowaday is smart, they realize which brand offers them great deal for their money. It's going to be worst for Sony when Samsung's ISOCELL dominates the phone sensor market.

2. KENTOZ

Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 03, 2015

Agree, they even can't optimize their own sensor

4. waddup121 unregistered

Pretty sure over 90% of chinese phones use sony sensors.

5. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

I've been waiting since Sep. 2013 for Samsung's ISOCELL sensor to beat Sony Exmor RS sensor in quality and dominate the market share like their Galaxy phones. But every year i keep seeing Sony rules the smartphone image sensor. With 40% market share in 2014, 5% more than the previous year and the next iPhone keep using Sony sensor + Sony aims to expand its image sensor business to the Chinese market i don't see any logical reason that Samsung ISOCELL is able to dominates the smartphone image sensor market share. Not to mention Samsung still prefer Sony sensor as their main sensor for their flagships.

15. Tricell1991

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 25, 2015

@KENTOZ So !! Enemy of the enemy is our friend am i right ?? you scared like a s**t about can't dispute to a surgery guy. :p :p :p

6. mokhtar

Posts: 405; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

are u comparing samsung isocell with sony ? i cant even reply u cuz i knew that u dont know anything

11. cmpunk

Posts: 88; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

What do you expect? She is a Samsung fangirl since the beginning. I wonder why PA doesn't ban her.

16. ninja_master

Posts: 306; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Cause PA never ban samsung fanboys/girls :(

8. KhmerLoveKhmer

Posts: 149; Member since: May 26, 2015

apple will never use crappy samsung sensor. i trust sony than samsung sony > samsung p.s: u look gay ;p

3. tahnik

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 17, 2011

Basically that's the only problem Sony have right now. After they fix their Imaging software they are pretty much perfect. Their UI is perfect after the lollipop update. They have digital noise canceling, great design, waterproof design, MicroSD, One of the best display in market. Every aspect will be perfect after fixing image software

7. waroftunami

Posts: 10; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

you forgot the excellent battery backup!!

9. KhmerLoveKhmer

Posts: 149; Member since: May 26, 2015

who said apple is a devil? now apple saves sony's @ss lol

10. cmpunk

Posts: 88; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Pls PA, bring back the thumb down button and allow me to downvote this retarded comment

12. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

No you wrong Sony saves their own @$$ by making the best sensor.

13. 27satz

Posts: 158; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Sony sells their sensors to many brands like Apple, Samsung and so on.... But failed to optimize and enhance the performance of their own sensors. The tricky part is, If Sony optimizes their own sensors in their own phones, Other manufacturers would stop using them. Don't mess with Sony. They're the sleeping giants.

14. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

The best sensor, the worst camera !

17. ninja_master

Posts: 306; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

the worst camera is the one m9 IMO

18. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Lol... the worst??? the camera on the Xperia maybe not the best but according to DoxMark other than Samsung and Apple flagships there is nothing better than Z3 at least from major brand.

19. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Lol... the worst??? the camera on the Xperia maybe not the best but according to DoxMark other than Samsung and Apple flagships there is nothing better than Z3 at least from major brand.

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