Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Nikkei: Sony to Supply iPhone Front Camera Sensors

Nikkei article says that "Apple is likely looking to switch to Sony sensors for the secondary camera on the screen side, used for taking self-portraits." Up to now, most of the front sensors for iPhone were sourced from Omnivision. So far Sony only supplied high resolution rear sensor to Apple. If the report is true, then either Apple is going to switch its front sensor to higher resolution, like some Chinese smartphone vendors, or Sony is moving to capture some of the lower end sensor market. The former might be more probable, as Nikkei says that Apple asked Sony to double image sensor production.

Nikkei claims that "A request from Apple [to increase CMOS sensors supply] was the reason for its January decision to purchase a plant from Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics, according to a source involved in the negotiations." "Sony is a supplier for Samsung Electronics, the world's top smartphone seller, and No. 3 Huawei Technologies, as well as Apple." "Sony's image sensor sales, chiefly CMOS sensors, are expected to total about 360 billion yen ($3.47 billion) this fiscal year. It held the largest share of the global CMOS sensor market in 2012 at 32.1%, according to Techno Systems Research."

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