In the ever-evolving world of technology, Sony Group Corp. is making strategic moves to position itself for an eventual rebound in smartphone camera demand. Recognizing the growing market for camera smartphones, the Tokyo-based company is planning to expand its market share by acquiring more land near its existing image sensor factory in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. This expansion aims to meet the increasing demand for high-quality camera sensors that power the smartphones of leading brands, including Apple Inc.’s iPhones.
Expanding Market Presence
Sony Group Corp. has set its sights on acquiring 27 hectares of land in Koshi, Kumamoto, northwest of its current factory. The company is engaged in talks to secure the necessary land for this expansion, with the potential investment reaching several hundred billion yen for the establishment of a second factory at the new site. The move underscores Sony’s commitment to strengthening its foothold in the market, capitalizing on the growing popularity of camera smartphones.
Market Outlook and Growth Potential
Despite the challenging market conditions faced by image sensor manufacturers, Sony Group remains optimistic about the future. Terushi Shimizu, the head of Sony’s chip business, stated during an investor relations event that the company expects its share of the global image-sensor market to reach 60% by the business year starting April 2025. Currently, Sony already commands slightly over half of the market’s revenues.
Shimizu acknowledged the tougher market environment for image sensors in the current fiscal year, especially due to the significant decline in smartphone sales, particularly in China—the world’s largest mobile market. However, Sony remains focused on long-term growth prospects and preparedness for the market’s recovery. The company aims to capture growth opportunities when the demand for camera smartphones inevitably rebounds.
Diversifying Beyond Smartphones
Sony recognizes the importance of diversification and is not solely relying on the smartphone market. The company is actively pursuing opportunities in the automotive industry, particularly in the field of automotive image sensors. These sensors play a crucial role in capturing images for analysis, which is vital for the development of self-driving cars. Sony anticipates a doubling of revenue for car sensors by the year ending March and aims to achieve profitability within one to two years in this sector.
What is Sony Group’s plan to expand its market share in the smartphone camera industry?
Sony intends to acquire additional land near its existing image sensor factory in Kumamoto, Japan, to meet the growing demand for camera sensors in smartphones.
What percentage of the global image-sensor market does Sony aim to achieve by 2025?
Sony aims to capture 60% of the global image-sensor market by the business year starting April 2025.
What challenges does Sony face in the current market environment for image sensors?
Sony faces a tougher market environment, primarily due to the decline in smartphone sales, particularly in China, which has adversely affected the demand for camera sensors.
Apart from camera smartphones, what other market segment is Sony focusing on?
Sony is actively pursuing opportunities in the automotive industry, specifically in the development of automotive image sensors for self-driving cars.