Counterpoint: Sony’s smartphone camera sensor business is on the rise thanks to iPhone upgrades
The smartphone market contracted in 2022, which impacted image sensor vendors. Some have done better than others – Sony has been the only vendor to see its revenue grow every year.
And that was mostly thanks to Apple upgrading the iPhone 14 series cameras. Both Pro models brought new 48MP sensors in the main cameras and larger 12MP sensors in the ultra wide cameras. The selfie camera on all four models has also been upgraded with autofocus. Apple exclusively uses Sony sensors, you can see the breakdown by camera type below:.
Sony sensors inside the last two generations of iPhone (source: Counterpoint BoM analytics service)
Adding it all up, Sony earned an additional $6 per unit for a total of around $300 million in the second half of 2022. The end result is that Sony made 54% of total revenue for the year, in increase of 5 percentage points compared to 2021.
Samsung LSI performed well, although its revenue share contracted by 1 percentage point to 29%. The company took advantage of the advantages of high-resolution sensors and small pixel sizes (pixels smaller than 0.7 µm).
Affordable 50MP sensors have proven to be very popular, and Samsung has shipped around 200 million of them in 2022. These are used in the main cameras of lower-end phones and in the selfie cameras of higher-end devices. The company still dominates the market for sensors over 100 megapixels and has shipped around 150 million units since the first was launched.
Last year, the smartphone image sensor market contracted by 6% compared to 2021, but total revenue remained above $13 billion. Sony and Samsung take the lion’s share, 83% in total.