Sony no longer produces enough photo sensors, especially for the iPhone 11

Image 1 : Sony ne produit plus assez de capteurs photo, notamment pour les iPhone 11

Sony can no longer produce enough photo sensors for its customers, especially Apple with the iPhone 11. Despite massive investments in its production means, the industry leader is close to out of stock. This is due to the proliferation of sensors on high-end smartphones which now have 3 or 4 of them.

The cameras that equip smartphones have become one of the key elements of differentiation between brands and models. Manufacturers compete to innovate to win customers over, and it’s now common to see 3 or 4 sensors on high-end models. Sony, the world leader in the sector, can no longer keep up with demand.

Image 1: Sony no longer produces enough photo sensors, especially for the iPhone 11

Sony continues to gain market share in the face of Samsung. The firm notably equips iPhone 11, and now controls 51% of the photo sensor market. Terushi Shimizu, the head of the semiconductor unit at Sony, even believes that she will manage to 60% market share by 2025. However, the manufacturer is already encountering serious difficulties in meeting demand. For the second consecutive year, the Japanese company must run its factories without interruption during the holiday season.

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Despite massive investment, Sony does not produce enough photo sensors

The semiconductor branch of the Japanese giant has become its most profitable activity after the video games sector with the PlayStation. Sony has even raised its profit prospects by 38%, and forecasts a turnover of 1040 billion yen, of which 86% due to photo sensors. Remarkable growth that the firm did not anticipate enough, and which now requires massive and rapid investment in production.

This year the company has doubled its capital expenditure to reach 280 billion yen (2.3 billion euros), and launched the construction of a new factory in Nagasaki which will be commissioned in April 2021. Until this date, it will be close to 6 billion euros which will be invested to develop the means of production.

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However, Sony still doubts its ability to do on demand. In her interview with Bloomberg, Terushi Shimizu said “judging by the way things are going, even after all these investments in capacity expansion, it might not be enough.”

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Source: Bloomberg