Sony makes the camera image sensors used in many of the world’s smartphones. But a lot of modern phones don’t just have a camera on the back and another on the front anymore — they have multiple cameras to add support for things like depth-sensing, wide-angle shots or telephoto zoom photos. And it turns out that’s putting a strain on Sony’s resources.

In an interview with Bloomberg, a Sony executive says the company is having a hard time keeping up with demand.

Sony is spending a lot of money to increase its manufacturing capacity, and plans to open a new manufacturing plant in April, 2021. But the company still might not be able to produce enough image sensors to meet demand.

There’s clearly a reason for Sony to invest heavily in this area though — it brings in a lot of money. Here are a few things I learned from the Bloomberg article:

  • Sony’s semiconductor division is the company’s second-most profitable (PlayStation is first).
  • 86-percent of the semiconductor business consists of image sensors.
  • Sony currently claims to have over 50-percent of the image sensor market.
  • If Sony can’t keep up with demand, rivals like Samsung may be able to snatch away some customers — Samsung is also said to be increasing image sensor production.

You can find more details at Bloomberg.

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2 replies on “Sony has trouble meeting demand for smartphone camera sensors (due to rise of multi-camera phones)”

  1. It is good to hear another Sony division besides PlayStation is doing well. I’ve read articles about other Sony divisions losing money and Sony closing or selling divisions. Sony is closing PlayStation Vue next month. I have enjoyed Sony products since the late 80’s. I’d miss them if they went under.

    1. They certainly had management issues both in Japan and USA.

      It’s caused them to bite them back in the rear, but they are keeping steady. I think their TV and Movie divisions are doing okay, but most of their other divisions were losing money or sold off. It was only thanks to their huge success in the 80’s that they could afford to spend their capital on these failing divisions. They don’t have much of that luxury anymore.

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