Sony CIS’s Strong Reliance on Apple
In the ever-evolving world of smartphone technology, strategic partnerships often dictate the rise and fall of industry giants. Sony Semiconductor, based in Japan, has recently found itself in a pivotal role, driven by its strong dependence on Apple Inc.
According to the latest report from TechInsights, Sony Semiconductor’s Nagasaki factory has seen a significant surge in production, all thanks to Apple’s demand for their advanced image sensor technology. The iPhone 15 series utilizes Sony CIS’s cutting-edge camera technology, further cementing this symbiotic relationship.
One standout feature of the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro series is the adoption of Sony’s 48-megapixel CIS (Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) for the rear wide-angle lens. This move has not only enhanced Apple’s smartphone camera capabilities but has also propelled Sony into the high-resolution market segment above 48MP. It’s worth noting that Sony’s 48-megapixel IMX803 sensor made its debut in the previous iPhone 14 Pro lineup, ranking among the top 20 smartphone CIS image sensor models shipped in the first half of 2023.
Sony’s influence on Apple’s camera technology doesn’t end there. Apple also integrated Sony’s 12-megapixel IMX913 CIS into the iPhone 15 Pro Max lineup’s periscope telephoto lens application and upgraded its LiDAR technology with Sony’s IMX591 sensor. Additionally, Sony’s ultra-wide-angle lens CIS from the previous generation maintains its place in the latest iPhone series.
The impact of this partnership is evident in the market share data, with Sony Semiconductor’s market share reaching an impressive 56 percent in the first half of 2023. Even in a challenging market environment, other smartphone manufacturers also have embraced Sony’s latest CIS models, including the MX989, IMX890, IMX858, IMX888, and IMX800. These components have enabled high-end smartphones to offer advanced hardware and camera features, stimulating consumer demand.
TechInsights’ research reveals a staggering statistic: over 55 percent of Sony’s smartphone CIS revenue now comes from Apple. While this reliance on one major client might seem risky, Sony is actively diversifying its portfolio. They are promoting their CIS products to other leading smartphone manufacturers and focusing on delivering large-format and customized CIS solutions. Sony has even introduced the LYTIA brand CIS products to the market, aiming to expand its market presence further.
With the release of Apple’s latest iPhone series, Sony Semiconductor is poised to achieve its ambitious smartphone CIS sales target of US$8 billion for this year. The partnership between these tech giants continues to reshape the smartphone landscape, proving that strong collaborations can lead to remarkable success in the fast-paced world of technology.