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Samsung Electronics Doubling Efforts to Overtake Sony in Image Sensor Market
Hot on the Trail of Sony
Samsung Electronics Doubling Efforts to Overtake Sony in Image Sensor Market
  • By Michael Herh
  • October 15, 2019, 09:49
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Image sensors from Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics is hot on the trail of Sony in the global image sensor market. The company is employing a two-track strategy of developing technology ahead of competitors and expanding its market share by increasing price competitiveness.

The company is accelerating its move to take control of the mobile image sensor market where it has an advantage in order to take first place in system semiconductors.

Samsung Electronics is expanding its supply of mobile image sensors to major smartphone manufacturers. In particular, LG Electronics has recently adopted Samsung's image sensors for its strategic smartphone products. LG Electronics is a longtime industry rival of Samsung Electronics and the two companies are currently engaged in a verbal war over 8K TV picture quality. Samsung Electronics' 32-megapixel image sensor goes into the front camera of the LG Electronics’ strategic smartphone V50S SynQ.

Samsung Electronics' System LSI Business Division is expected to boost its image sensor sales and market share as it secured LG Electronics as one of its corporate customers. Major smartphone makers including China's Xiaomi and Oppo also reportedly adopted Samsung's image sensors for their latest products. Therefore, Samsung's share in the image sensor market is expected to grow.

According to IHS Markit, a market research firm, Sony placed first with a 51.1 percent share in the mobile image sensor market in the first quarter of this year. It was followed by Samsung Electronics with a 17.8 percent share, Omni Vision with 13.5 percent, ON Semiconductor with 5.7 percent, and SK Hynix with 2.7 percent.

A recent towards loading multiple high-performance cameras on smartphones and the expansion of autonomous vehicle use are expected to expedite the growth of the world image sensor market.

Samsung Electronics is striving to sharpen its competitiveness in terms of performance, while at the same time focusing on the development of new technologies. In fact, Samsung Electronics began mass-production of the industry’s first 18-million-pixel image sensors in August. In September, the Korean tech giant announced that it developed the industry's first ultra-compact 0.7-μm mobile image sensors and will begin its mass production within this year. Samsung Electronics is expected to show off its technological prowess in the midst of fierce competition, experts say.