Sony Struggles to Keep Up with Demand for Smartphone Camera Sensors

Thanks to the likes of Apple’s flagship iPhone 11 Pro and other multi-lens smartphones, Sony’s sales of CMOS image sensors continue to soar. However, Bloomberg is reporting that the company is struggling to keep up with demand, even with 24-hour manufacturing shifts.


Head of Sony’s head of semiconductor unit Terushi Shimizu has revealed that for the second consecutive year, Sony will run its chip factories constantly through the holidays to try and keep up with the demand for mobile phone camera sensors.

He added that the company is more than doubling its capital spending on the business to $2.6 billion this fiscal year and is also building a new facility in Nagasaki that will become operational in April 2021.

“Judging by the way things are going, even after all that investment in expanding capacity, it might still not be enough,” Shimizu said in an interview at the Tokyo headquarters. “We are having to apologize to customers because we just can’t make enough.”

“The camera has become the biggest differentiator for smartphone brands and everyone wants their social media pictures and videos to look nice,” said Masahiro Wakasugi, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “Sony is riding that wave of demand very well.”

Semiconductors are currently Sony’s most profitable business after the PlayStation.