Smartphone Sensors Saw Declining Shipments in 2022

CMIs are in a state of crisis, with the multi-camera trend petering out as smartphone manufacturers focused on other priorities. Counterpoint just released a report, and in this report we can find that revenues from camera sensors for smartphones dipped by as much as 6% in 2022. In spite of the fact that this is the case, companies like Sony were able to turn a profit and even see some YoY growth.

Sony’s success might be surprising, but in spite of the fact that this is the case it should be mentioned that they got a lifeline from Apple. The tech juggernaut has been trying to make improvements to its smartphone camera for quite some time now, and they chose Sony to be their main supplier which helped the Japanese company tide over an otherwise difficult period.

The latest iterations of Apple’s flagship iPhone, namely the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, have 48 megapixel cameras. Apple clearly needed to collaborate with an outside party to develop these cameras, and Sony was the one that got the coveted contract.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the overall decline in smartphone shipments have likely played a role in this downward trend. The supply chain disruption also meant that there was an excess of inventory, and much of 2022 was spent correcting this because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up setting 2023 up much more neatly than might have been the case otherwise.

Samsung also managed to avoid the fallout of the sensor market decline by diversifying their product offerings and creating more low budget smartphones with cheaper cameras. Corporations are doing all that they can to weather this uncertain time, and it will be interesting to see if 2023 offers them any relief. If that doesn’t happen, we might see a much sparser tech landscape come 2024, because another lean year will weed out a lot of the weaker companies leaving only the bigger ones to pick up the pieces of the industry.

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