Sony is taking no prisoners. In their latest mid-term strategy paper, they pledge almost a 1 Trillion Yen (~$9 billion) investment into camera technology over the next three years. The investment is primarily in image sensors, with the goal of becoming the “top brand in the overall camera market” by 2021.
With Canon’s recent announcement to take more than 50% of the interchangeable lens camera market in the next few years, things should get exciting. Given Sony’s rapid growth in the camera market over the last few years, both Canon and Nikon will have an even greater challenge on their hands now.
Sony’s overall strategy goals are about what we’d expect.
- Reinforce Direct to Consumer (DTC) services and content IP, and create “Communities of Interest” that bring together people who share emotional values and experiences.
- Position Branded Hardware, which allows Sony to connect users and creators through its innovative video and audio technologies, as sustainable and consistent cash flow generating businesses.
- In the area of CMOS image sensors that capture the real world in which we all live, and are vital to KANDO content creation, aim to maintain Sony’s global number one position in imaging applications, and become the global leader in sensing.
A presentation to go along with the paper goes into more detail on their imaging products. It shows a pretty aggressive stance that will give all other camera manufacturers some cause for concern. Of course, it probably wasn’t unexpected.
Sony has made amazing progress in the photography market over the past few years. And recent camera releases like the Sony A9 and A7III have blown much of the competition out of the water on price, features and overall capability. Despite much of this $9bn investment going toward sensor technology, Sony also plans to expand their lens business, and engage more with the professional market.
Although Nikon and Canon have both hinted at full frame professional mirrorless cameras to come over the next year, they’re going to have to bring out something absolutely amazing at a great price to be able to keep up. There is very little room for error, especially with public confidence in both companies pretty low when it comes to mirrorless.
Exactly how Sony are measuring “top” is unclear. It may be sales, it may be market share, it may simply be that they produce the technically best kit. But $9bn is a huge investment, that probably won’t just be for bragging rights. It’ll need to earn that investment back.
Whatever happens over the next 3 years, it should hopefully result in some great benefits for the end users.
[via Sony Alpha Rumors]