Samsung is making headway in the global smartphone camera sensor market and is trying to close the gap with Sony.
Traditionally, there has been tight competition between Samsung and Sony for the manufacture of smartphone camera sensors, and the two don’t want to give up. But it looks like Samsung is moving a bit closer to Sony and maybe could pick it up in the next few years.
According to a report by SamMobile (Via Strategy Analytics), Sony currently has a 46% revenue share of the smartphone image sensor market. The Japanese company has established its position as the world’s largest sensor supplier. In second place, Samsung LSI had a revenue share of 29% in 2020.
Compared to previous years, Sony has lost its share and is losing it to its Korean rival. Sony had a 50% market share, but for 2020 it is failing slightly. On the other hand, Samsung is quietly taking over Sony’s share.
Samsung’s revenue share was less than 20% a few years ago, but now it holds 29% of the global share. Thanks to the strategies and the launch of new sensors for mid-range to flagship smartphones, Samsung may even get more revenue share. Samsung LSI currently makes ISOCELL camera sensors, and it does a great job with them, as the sensors they make have consistently ranked at the top of the smartphone camera rankings.
After Sony and Samsung, OmniVision Technologies holds 10% of global sales. The remaining 15% is distributed among the other suppliers.
Samsung smartphone camera sensors conquer the market
One apparent reason for Sony’s loss is the US sanctions against Huawei. Sony has strong ties to Huawei and provides it with camera sensors. As one of the largest OEMs in China, Huawei ships millions of smartphone units every year. But US sanctions have had a ruinous effect on Huawei’s operations and even led them to enter new business segments. When Huawei sells fewer smartphones, it has a direct impact on Sony’s revenue as a partner.
Samsung has also seized the opportunity and stepped up the sale of its sensors to other companies. Samsung is working on a variety of smartphone camera sensors. A few months ago, the company unveiled a 108-megapixel ISOCELL HM3 camera sensor equipped with the latest technology to capture sharper images.
The next camera sensor in the Samsung line is ISOCELL GN2, which comes with some cool features including dual pixel autofocus and 5x optical zoom. Xiaomi uses this sensor on Mi 11 Ultra.
If you think that a 108 megapixel sensor is enough for Samsung, you are completely wrong because they are working on a new generation of ISOCELL sensors with a resolution of 200 megapixels.