Once known for its compact discs and Walkmans, Sony has suffered losses from its consumer goods in recent years. These losses, along with the success of the division in charge of image sensors lead to a surprising move by the Japanese giant.
Sony announced yesterday that it will raise 440 billion yen (nearly $4 billion) in order to further invest in image sensor development and production capabilities.
Despite major efforts, the company failed to see profit from its TV and mobile business.
On the other hand Sony is currently supplying its sensors to some of the largest tech companies, including its rivals in the photography and mobile markets, maintains a huge share of the market and is unable to meet the demand for its semiconductors.
According to a company statement, “Sony Corporation plans to apply the funds raised by this issuance of new shares to expenditures for increasing the production capacity of, and research and development for, stacked CMOS image sensors in the Devices segment in order to further enhance profitability”.
This move makes complete sense when you take into account that Sony has been losing money for years over its TV and mobile business, and now it finally has once again a successful line of products in its hands.
In fact Sony’s sensors are selling so well that the company is said to reign over 40% of the image sensor market. That’s a staggering figure, especially when you consider that Sony could have an even larger share had it been able to meet the demand for its sensors.
“The image sensors, a key high-tech component in digital cameras and smartphones, have emerged as one of Sony’s strongest lines alongside its PlayStation videogames unit, helping the company recover from a long slide in TV and smartphone sales”, Reuters reported.
Other than the sensors Sony supplies to Nikon, the company also provides its sensors to two of its largest rivals in the mobile market – Apple’s iPhone 6 and Samsung’s S6 and S6 Edge use them. Actually, only some of the S6 phones use Sony sensors due to the above mentioned failure to meet demand.
Sony’s current strategy is to profit from the success of other companies which use its sensors, but users of the company’s own cameras have no reason to worry. Additionally, the company is also expected to stay in the TV market, despite the losses. Reuters explains this is as Sony is “keen to maintain a presence in the business, not least as a means to promote brand awareness among consumers”.
[via Photo Rumors]