ResearchInChina publishes the 2015 update of its "Global and China CCM (CMOS Camera Module) Industry Report." Few quotes, starting from CMOS image sensor market overview:
"In CIS field, shipments are expected to amount to 4,196 million units in 2015 and 4,390 million units in 2016, up 8.8% and 4.6% against the previous year, respectively, compared with annual growth of 11.5% in 2014, indicating a further slowdown. The market size is predicted to be USD9.16 billion in 2015 and USD9.628 billion in 2016, a year-on-year rise of 4.6% and 5.1%, respectively, compared with annual increase of 10.7% in 2014. Except for On-Semi, Sony and Sharp, all other vendors experienced declines... On-Semi is a bellwether in automotive CIS field, seizing nearly 50% market share. As integration went well very after acquisition of Aptina by On-Semi, combined with explosive growth in automotive camera market, On-Semi embraced rapid development in its CIS business, and is expected to record revenue of USD720 million in 2015, including USD400 million from automotive field, a surge of more than 100%.
Global CCM market size was worth USD16.247 billion in 2015, a year-on-year rise of 3.8% from 2014, the slowest rate since 2010. It is expected that growth rate will continue to decelerate in 2016, only 1.3%, but bounce back slightly to 1.6% in 2017 with a market size of USD16.732 billion.
Largan Precision still outshined others in Lens field with high-speed growth, while the rest of vendors almost all suffered setback in Lens business, except for the vendors with automotive Lens business which witnessed significant growth in such field but with a low ASP. Sunny Optical still ranked first globally in automotive Lens; Kantatsu, a subsidiary of Sharp, made its way into the supply chain of Apple with considerable performance growth.
Japanese companies dominated OIS market with Alps and Mitsumi tied for the first place and both being major suppliers for Apple. In addition, Mitsumi also aggressively marched into Chinese mainland market, planning to invest JPY25 billion to expand capacity over the next two years with the aim of competing for the global champion with Alps.
Bi-Direction and Close-Loop have become two main technologies in VCM field. Japanese vendors exited from low-end VCM field and focused on OIS or Bi-Direction and Close-Loop. The emergence of mainland Chinese companies in low-end market resulted in fierce competition.
In an increasingly competitive CCM field, the majority of companies were caught in the price war and the market became more concentrated. Many vendors registered higher shipments but smaller revenue, even the number of pixel increased. Sharp, performing the best, became the second largest supplier for Apple that placed more orders with Sharp so as to reduce its reliance on LG-INNOTEK, but LG-INNOTECK was still the largest supplier for Apple and ranked first by revenue globally. Cowell, the third largest supplier for Apple, also did very well, and was one of few companies with improved gross margin. SEMCO won more orders from Samsung. Sunny Optical, the No. 1 mainland Chinese vendor, maintained the momentum of strong growth but with a stagnant gross margin, and started shifting its focus to Lens field in the hope of raising its overall growth margin. LITEON selectively gave up low-end business and saw a decline in orders from its major customer Samsung, leading to a collapse in revenue. MCNEX found strong growth in revenue by relying on automotive business."