Sony to return in full capacity to Image Sensors on Smartphone Pickup

Sony Corp’s image sensor production is anticipated to return in the October-March half-year to full capacity due to a pickup in the demand of Smartphone. They already spent the past year running under full strength.

Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp, President Yasuhiro Ueda said “The business environment is improving for our customers,” at a news conference at Sony’s sensor factory in the southern Japan, Kumamoto region.

Sony commands nearly 40 percent of the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors, a chip type converting light into electronic signals.

The sensors were the main for Sony’s recovery after the years of losses stemming from price competition mainly in consumer electronics. A global slowdown in the smartphone market prompted Sony to cut in the October-March half the sensor production of the last business year, but now there is demand picked up.

Ueda said monthly production is expected to rise in the second half from 70,000 wafers at present to 73,000 wafers – of this business year to full capacity at five image sensor plants of Sony’s. This figure excludes the outsourced production.

He said the Sony’s sensors demand also reflects the effort of the firm to diversify its client base, as the clients have experienced some ups and downs. Sony’s clients include Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc.

Samsung’s first-half profits were to nearly 50 percent on mobile strong sales of its Galaxy S7 phones, but the momentum was stalled owing to the recall of Galaxy Note 7 followup. Apple also has first-ever iPhone quarterly sales declines, but enjoyed a stronger-than-expected profit on the launch of iPhone 7.

“Our client range is now less reliant on specific customers, and we include Chinese smartphone makers that are thriving recently,” Ueda said.