Sony dominates the smartphone CMOS image sensor market

sony dominates image sensor market blue water splash
Sony
Smartphone cameras continue to be a predominate feature in consumer marketing and buying decisions on smartphones. It makes sense, then, that manufacturers of smartphone camera components are part of a big and growing industry.

“Big” may not be descriptive enough for what over the next five years will be an industry worth almost $19 billion for CMOS image sensor suppliers. To date, Sony owns the lion’s share of the market for CMOS sensors, controlling 35 percent or $3.6 billion of the 2015 total of $6.7 billion.

Other major players in the industry are Samsung, Omnivision, On Semiconductor, Canon, Toshiba, and Panasonic. None of the other competitors are close to Sony’s market share with Samsung in second place at 19 percent.

To put it simply, image sensor technology gives your smartphone camera the capability to auto-focus, increased image quality, and helps with optical image stabilization. In other words, these sensors provide all the functions that an amateur photographer needs to take decent pictures and perfect selfies with a smartphone.

CMOS image sensors are not just limited to smartphones, however. Automotive cameras are leaping forward in demand and driving increased need for additional production of image sensors. The automotive image sensor market increased 23 percent in 2015 to a whopping $537 million. That pales in comparison to the smartphone utilization, but is still nothing to sneeze at.

Look in the sky for these image sensors as well. Booming drone interest and technological development calls for increasingly sophisticated camera equipment to accompany new drones. The quality and capabilities of the camera equipment on many new drones blows away anything James Bond fans could ever imagine. Many of those advancements are from improved CMOS image sensor technology.

Finally, how can anyone forget virtual reality, with the recent release of so many new VR headsets? Yes, these image sensors are also integral in creating a more complex VR environment. Dual cameras, 360-degree pictures, and eventually filming for VR applications, are all becoming a reality for an average smartphone user.

As long as demand for these applications remain, manufacturers will race to play ball in the CMOS image sensor park. For now, at least, Sony is the home team.

Product Review

Samsung's Galaxy S10 phones are its most refined yet. Be prepared to pay up

Samsung has unveiled its lineup for its most popular smartphones, and it includes the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. The two flagship phones boast hole-punch cameras, fingerprint sensors embedded in the display, and beefier batteries.
Mobile

Sony partnership with Light aims to take smartphone photography to new heights

Smartphone photography is in its ascendancy, and a new partnership between Light and Sony hopes to lift it to new heights through the development of multi-image sensor solutions for smartphones. We spoke to Light to find out more.
Mobile

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is the powerhouse smartphone 2019 has been waiting for

Xiaomi has announced the Mi 9, and it's a real powerhouse. It comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, a triple-lens camera, a new in-display fingerprint sensor, and a new design. Here's what you need to know.
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Mobile

Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e in the U.K.

The Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e have all been officially announced and can be pre-ordered right now, with deliveries expected on March 8. If you're in the U.K., this is where you need to go to buy one.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Google Pixel 3: Can Samsung beat the stock Android king?

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is here, offering modern specs, a beautifully high-resolution display, and an edge-to-edge design with a small cutout in the display for the front-facing camera. But can the phone take out the Google Pixel 3?
Mobile

Samsung says it has set new standard for mobile tech with the 2019 Galaxy range

Samsung launched a host of new products on February 20, with prices ranging from just $35, all the way up to nearly $2,000. This was not by chance, and the company believes it has something for everyone in 2019.
Deals

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…
Mobile

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.
Deals

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.
Deals

Amazon drops a sweet deal on the Kate Spade Scallop smartwatch for women

Unlike many other smartwatches geared toward women, the Kate Spade Scallop offers a more chic and minimalistic look. With this Amazon sale going on right now, you can get it for $109 off its retail price.