Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in discussion with Sony Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:SNE) for the supply of sensors for a “new iphone”, a latest report suggested. The Japanese electronic major is expected to increase the supply of camera components for a “new iPhone slated to roll out as early as next year” according to Nikkei, Japan’s largest business daily.
Sony has been supplying sensors to Apple
At present, Sony Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:SNE) supplies CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensors for the iPhone 5S’ rear mounted cameras, according to the teardown of the phones. According to the report from Nikkei almost every rear mounted CMOS sensors for the current iPhone models are supplied by Sony.
The report said that the iPhone maker would switch to Sony sensors for the front facing camera, also. The business daily said that Sony most probably supplies Apple with more than 100 million sensors per year, with majority of them for iPhones. However, the numbers could double in next gen Apple products.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5S, which has been highly popular, uses a redesign camera sensor with larger pixels for better low-light exposure apart from other benefits. The report from Nikkei did not reveal the model of iPhone, which used the sensor, but according to the rumours iPhone 6 would have advanced version of the camera, an upgrade from 8- megapixel camera, in the 5S.
Not good news for other suppliers
If Apple gives orders to Sony Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:SNE), then companies like Sharp, who gave been supplying components for the iPhone and iPad would get heavily affected. Sharp has done major investment in LCD manufacturing capacity to supply Apple with display for its iPads. Sony, on the other hand, has increased its capacity by acquiring a plant from Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics, according to Nikkei.
The reports also mentioned that a sale of Sony’s image sensors is expected to reach 360 billion yen ($3.47 billion) this fiscal year. Sony supplies components to Samsung Electronics, number one smartphone seller worldwide and Huawei Technologies, Number 3 seller. “In December, it scuttled plans to unload its battery business, instead choosing to shift toward products for mobile devices,” according to the report
Sony Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:SNE) has stated plans to spin off its computer and TV segment. CEO and President Kazuo Hirai said that he will put his best efforts to bring the electronics business back into profit this year.