Sony’s Semiconductor Solutions Group held nearly half of the image sensor market share in 2019, according to Japanese research firm Techno Systems Research (TSR). The detail was spied by PulseNews, which points out that Sony’s 49.1% market share greatly eclipsed the second biggest market share, 17.9%, held by Samsung. The South Korean company recently launched its 108MP Nonacell image sensor with its new Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphone.
The news isn’t surprising. In December, Sony revealed that its semiconductor business was working 24/7 through the holidays in an effort to keep up with the demand for its image sensors. The company is building a new facility in Nagasaki in order to boost production capacity due to this demand; it is expected to go online in April 2021.
Samsung remains the biggest competitor to Sony’s image sensor business. In 2018, the South Korean company announced that it would expand the production capacity of its own image sensor business and that its ultimate goal was to overtake Sony. Based on the TSR data, the company still has a long way to go toward reaching that milestone.
Still, Sony’s image sensor business may have a rocky future. Earlier this month, Sony expressed concerns about the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak in China where the company has four large factories. According to Sony CFO Hiroko Totoki via the Nikkei Asian Review, the impact of the coronavirus on the company’s supply chains could potentially cause enormous disruption to Sony’s image sensor business.